Badlands Snow II

This is from the morning after my previous post. The snow had stopped, but it was still very cloudy. The sun may have been above the horizon, but it was very cloudy to the east, so I processed this to evoke the pre-dawn feel and emphasize the warm/cool color contrast. This isn’t something I’ve done a lot of, so I’d love your feedback on how it worked.

5DII, 24-105 @ 58
f/8, 1/100s, ISO400
TK curves adjustments

Here’s a re-work based on some comments on the luminosity.

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Hi Craig,

What a treat getting fresh snow at badlands.

I would brighten the image as the exposure seems low for what I assume was a high key scene.

I’m make the red colour of the badlands pop a bit more against the blueish coloured snow

Beautiful scene. The blue cast is a bit heavy imho. I agree with Nathan that the scene would pop if it was brightened a little more.

Beautiful Craig. That dusting of snow must have been like waking up to presents on Christmas morning as a kid… I love that foreground! And actually wish there was a tad bit more; but you’ve got just enough and I think the foreground gives this scene great depth.

I could see raising the brightness some just to see how it might change, but from your description I think you’ve done very well to depict the pre-dawn conditions.


Craig: I think this has potential. I like pre-dawn images but I think they need enough light to make them sing. I did a bit of work on this to see what might be there.

I added some light to the lightest areas using TK masking. I also added a bit of blue to the tones to evoke that early morning pre-dawn light feel that I have. I then added a bit of a gradient to add to the blue and warmer tones. Maybe this is too far for your tastes, but thought the example might be useful.

I like the composition, the sky and foreground provide nice framing to the badlands. I especially like the grass poking out of the snow, it is a nice little touch that adds some interesting texture in the foreground.

I agree with the others comments about increasing the luminosity. One of the most appealing parts of this image to me is the texture created by the snow on the badlands, and that texture gets lost a bit in this dark an image. I’m okay with the cooler WB for mood, but would like to see more detail in the badlands.

Thanks @Nathan_Klein, @Patricia_Brundage, @Lon_Overacker, @Keith_Bauer and @Ed_McGuirk

Yep, definitely too dark. I have re-worked the image based on your comments, and I think it feels much better now. See the re-work in the original post.

@Craig_Moreau I think the repost is much improved. The increased luminance is better. Since this was a pre-dawn image, I would still go back and add a bit of blue to the image as the light before dawn like this generally is a bit cooler. I usually do this by adding a curves adjustment layer, choosing the blue channel, then increasing the blue a very small amount. You can also select the red channel and decrease the reds which will increase cyan since red/cyan are color opposites. Just my extra input on the image.

Thanks @Keith_Bauer! I’ve added a little blue by your method, and I think it looks right now.

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