Medicine Bow National Forest. & reposts

And black and white…

For me this was probably one of the most unique places I’ve been. I camped here in the summer on my cross country move. I really loved Wyoming and wished I could just stop there! Got to drive through a lot of this National Forest. It had these neat rock formations all through it. The beautiful mountains that I want to explore sometime, and the huge sky!

Specific Feedback Requested

I know this might sound weird, but I really like that one little cloud and the tiny wisp in the upper left of the frame, any thoughts on that? I tried adjusting in pp to bring it out more. Also I tried cropping to take some of the sky out because I know that’s the thing to do but ended up not because I don’t think it looks right that way. I’m open to thoughts on that. Also I would like to know if black and white is better or what is liked more?
Anything else!

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Nikon D3400
ISO 100


Vanessa: An interesting scene with good potential. I have a few things for you to consider. On the original it is significantly underexposed, especially for a full sunlit scene. On the B&W I think it would benefit from greater contrast. On both I think you’ve given the sky way too much of the frame, especially since it’s pretty featureless. I boosted the exposure 1.5 stops and cropped away a bunch of the sky but still kept your little cloud. On your initial capture you could get more saturation in the sky and better definition of the cloud by using a polarizer. A polarizer will also take some glare off the FG features as well. Back to you. >=))>
PS: you might also consider cropping/cloning away the fence top along the bottom edge.


Bill has done an admirable job in his rework. The fence posts at the bottom still need removal. Looks as though you shot this close to midday. Being that this was taken during a cross country move I suppose it could not be helped.

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Hi Bill! Funny, actually this is the original, I was adjusting it in pp because I was trying to make the cloud stand out more! :slight_smile: , I think my original is the right exposure straight out of the camera…

Your thoughts?..

To be precise, it was 11am! Also, I sent Bill my original image, that is exactly how it was. I was just trying to adjust things to make the 1 little cloud stand out, which is probably silly!

Hi Vanessa, This seems like a splendid scene you found yourself in. One thing you might do is to remember or see for the first time when processing, what you felt … what excited you. Guy Tal suggests making notes when taking an image, particularly noting the things you sensed and felt. You can also conduct a visual inventory of the things that are in the scene, especially those you like, and those that detract.
Certainly the cloud is an important accent to the grand scene, so it is important to accentuate that, or at least to not diminish it. For me, I was attracted to the horizontal S-curve from the left near slope to the big rocks and then swerving across the far side of the moist area.
Overall as shown in the straight BW version, the scene is quite atonal, to you have a chance to being saturation, light, and shadow to areas in order to convey what you want the viewer to feel.
The attachment is where I ended up - at least for now - its dinner time. If you want, we can go into the techniques I used …

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@Dick_Knudson Oh wow! I really like this! That’s what I was trying to achieve with the pp tools I have! In the top image that I originally posted. But what I did kind of made everything turn out dark! I just love how the rocks stand out and the brightness in what grass there is! And also the trees, I guess just everything! What I have to work with for pp is Pixelmator Photo on an iPad. I think most everyone here has LR and PS. Which I imagine that’s what you used. I have a curves tool. Also there are red/green/blue sliders and I can adjust the basic exposure. The one thing that’s limiting is I can’t go in to specific small areas like a lot of people talk about using a brush tool and dodge and burn. But, yes, if you have a chance I would love to know what you did! And in the meantime I’m going to see if I can achieve this with what I have! If I can I’ll repost it for you to see! Thank you, so much, for taking the time to look and your inputs and making the photo really sing!

I love granite, and miss it from my Arizona days. We used to clamber all over it as kids. I think it makes a nice subject, especially with the lichen adding color.

Just to double check, is your iPad calibrated? That can make a more than significant difference when discussing an image.

I see that pixelmotor 1.5 cites “Adjust the tonal curve directly in your photos – tap the On-Image Curves button, then drag up in your photo to lighten those areas, or down to darken them”. That might give you some degree of local dodge and burn,

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Hi John, I actually never heard of that, so I just looked it up right now! What I’m finding is that there are no calibrations you can do with the iPad. It sounds like from what I’m reading, Apple doesn’t offer that. But I’m curious, how does it make a difference with images? I had asked someone on this site before something along those lines about screen settings/brightness , and was rebuked by another person for even thinking it! So maybe I don’t understand about calibration! I would like to though!

Yes, that’s one of the tools I use. I only thought I could adjust in the tool itself but I’ll have to see if I can actually do on the picture. Thanks!

@Bill_Fach @Dick_Knudson @Igor_Doncov @John_Williams

Hello! Thank you all, for all your inputs on this photo! I’ve played around with it and now think I have something that will work. I adjusted stuff to bring out colors more, also got rid of all offensive fencing! And I cropped at a 16:9 crop to eliminate some sky. I also made a black and white version with more contrast. If and when any of you get a chance I’d love to hear your thoughts, input, feedback, etc. Is it great, is it awful. Is it just ok and I need to move on and quit beating a dead horse! :grin:

Does the iPad allow you to change screen brightness? If so, set it as dark as possible and look at your original image. Then, change the screen to as bright as possible and look again. In most cases, something that looks perfect at one setting will not look right at the other. (For example, I avoid commenting on NPN when I’m viewing images on my phone, because I know it displays them way to bright.) This is the effect that happens on NPN. If your screen is too bright, the image will look darker to everyone on a calibrated monitor. This happens with color too; if your screen is too blue, the image will look too yellow to someone on a calibrated monitor. The reason that’s a problem is that it leads to a discussion about which apple looks best, when actually you are comparing apples and oranges.

I don’t use an iPad; maybe other members can help with that.

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It looks as though you processed the image to make it warmer. It’s likely you did that for the grass and rocks. However, you changed the color of the sky as well. The two should be processed separately to get good results. I find that $10 a month is very worth the cost for what you get with PS and LR.

Hi Igor! Even though I’m on a limited budget, it’s not about the money. I’ve tried those on my iPad, which is all I have, and they are very clunky to work with. I’ve gone through and tried probably about 5-10 different apps. The one I have was especially built for the iPad. And it’s all in one, convert from raw to jpeg and adjust minor things which honestly is really all I want to do in pp anyway. So if I can’t make the image work with what I have then it’s time to move on and keep trying to create a better image right out of the camera! :slight_smile:

Thanks, John! I’ll give that a try and see if it works! Maybe I need to get my eyes calibrated! :grinning:

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