Snow Capped Foot Hills

I’ve been recently looking back at some of my shots from the foot hills in California. These was from the last hike I went on while I was living in California in Pinnacles National Park. I brought my 100-400 and tried getting some of the afternoon shadows on the freshly green foothills. Please tell me which image you prefer

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Processing… It took me almost a year to edit these because I had a really hard time figuring out how to neutralize the really ugly color cast on the images.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Composition… I feel like I may have included too much sky in the first shot

Pertinent technical details or techniques: Single shots both on Canon 5d Mark III 100-400

1st Shot 1/160 F/8 iso: 200 @ 180mm 2nd Shot: 1/500 F/8 iso: 200 @ 105mm
(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)

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A beautiful and grand landscape. For me, a clear choice and preference for the first image, for a few reasons. The luminosity is better in the first - the second one the landscape just a bit too dark… The snow capped peaks are better shown in the first. The clouds and sky are better. And so I just like the first better.

The only suggestion I have, and this is in the personal preference category as well. I would back off every so slightly in the yellow saturation as the yellow/green grasses of the hills are just a wee bit too much? (we’re talking hardly worth mentioning wee bit.) And the same for the blue/cyan in the sky. It’s looking quite pretty but maybe a tad too much. I know we (at least me) often push the color/sat limit, but sometimes we need to consider the situation. Maybe a reflection, a more intimate scene where there’s no reference or context it’s easy to get away with pushing color/sat. Here, it’s a grand scene where most of us have stood and observed for years. Obviously not this exact spot - but we watch our local hills, mountains and general scenery every day and get a general sense of the colors and saturation. I guess what I’m saying is that I think it’s harder to push the color/sat lever on scenes like this. Hmmm, I wonder if anyone else thinks like that. I literally just now thought it all up…

Yup, the first one for me. And it really does bring me there as if I was standing there.


David, both views look great, with their masses of corrugated hills and interesting sky. I agree with Lon, that the color differences, especially the multiple green tones, make the first post more attractive although the extra contrast in #2 looks good.

Another vote for the first image with the same reasons that @Lon_Overacker and @Mark_Seaver already mentioned. I do like the depth of the second image; to bad the hills did not have the nice light of the first one.

The mountains from the first and the sky from the second; otherwise, the first.

David, the undulating shapes of these hills are just fascinating, what a wonderful subject for these images. I’m with @Jim_Gavin, I prefer the mountains from the first, and the sky from the second. I like the colors of the mountains better in the first image, there seems to be more color separation between the yellows and greens in the first image. In the first image, it is not a 50/50 horizon, but it is getting close. I would suggest a slight crop of the sky at the top, leaving about half of the blue sky. However, the clouds are more interesting in the second image, IMO.

You mentioned that you struggled with the processing of these images while figuring out how to remove an ugly color cast. With day light scenes like this, especially ones with lots of white cloud areas, adjusting color casts should not be very difficult. If you wanted to discuss this further, it might be helpful to post the unedited raw file here so we can see the color cast, and discuss what you did to adjust color.

Thanks everyone, My feelings are the same I like the lighting in the hills on the first one and the sky in the 2nd. They were taken about an hour apart so the 2nd one is starting to get the golden light from the sun setting and the first one has more direct light on the hills.

I may have pushed the yellows a tad too much as I made quite a few selective color adjustments trying to hammer out the color cast and slight haze left in the hills. I will maybe tone down the saturation in the yellows and the cyan for sky.

@Ed_McGuirk I think I failed to mention I had used a polarizer to try to cut the haze in the foothills. It worked for toning down the haze but it did leave a nasty color cast. It won’t let me post the raw as the site limits you to jpeg, png, and gif files, but here’s an unedited jpeg so you can see the type of color cast I was working with. I do like the idea of cropping the sky a bit as I don’t like how close it is to a 50/50 horizon, maybea 16 x 9 crop.