Twilight Corner

Did not have a tripod on this short evening hike and was surprised that I was able to hand hold the camera with a minimum of shake. Also thought that with the high ISO I would see more graininess.

Any critique or comments are appreciated. I think I’ll square off the right edge of the evergreen on the left edge and I opened up the shadows of cove’s shoreline for more detail.

Nikon D7100, VR16-85mm @45mm, 1/50sec@f8. Handheld

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Stephan, I like the light, colors and mood that you have captured in this image. The rocks and trees have interesting shapes, and the light on the distant shore is awesome. You did not specify what ISO you used, but given the light in this scene it must have been pretty high to handhold it. your sensor/processing kept it surprisingly clean of noise as you mentioned.

In terms of processing, I think you achieved just the right level of shadow detail in the rocks and shoreline, it looks very natural for a twilight scene. I would suggest a slight reduction in the luminosity of the highlights in the sky and water. I played with it in Photoshop, and a TK Lights 3 selection did a nice job pulling back on the highlights without affecting the rocks.

In terms of composition, I’m going back and forth about doing a crop from the bottom. I think it’s the reflection of the tree that gives me pause. Including all of it introduces the twigs along the bottom edge, and a lot of negative space in the LRC. A significant drop from the bottom makes the reflection feel too truncated. In my own images, I often struggle with how of a reflection to include in the image. It will be interesting see what others will have for comments in that regard.

This is a possible compromise crop, but I’m not fully happy with it either. It does illustrate reduced highlight luminosity in the sky though.

Stephan and Ed, I too like the image and agree with Ed’s comments and suggestions. Ed, what is a “TK lights 3” luminosity adjustment? I like the crop and the light adjustment. Thanks for teaching me about TK lights 3.


I’m really enjoying the quiet and tranquility of this image and scene. I’m wondering if you captured a horizontal version of the scene? Not that it would be better, I’m really liking this as presented.

I do think Ed’s comments and edits take this up a notch. Really like what he did with both the crop and also bringing down the highlights.

Great job handling the shadow areas too. All looks natural - nicely processed.

@Larry_Greenbaum , not sure if @Ed_McGuirk will see your question without tagging him, so I will and help answer the question. “TK” masks are from our own member Tony Kuyper. Luminosity masks are just the tip of the iceberg with what he has developed over the years with his Action panel. Pretty much a standard around here - so much so we take for granted when using terms like “TK’s Lights 3 mask,” etc. Anyway, check it out either on TK’s website or right here in the Market Place for member discounts.

Thanks to all for the comments and suggestions. Ed the ISO was 1000, I had meant to include it. I am good with the crop as I was not totally committed to the full evergreen reflection. I think the sky colors are greatly improved with your work, I’ll have to look into TK masks. Lon, I did shoot a few horizontal versions here is one I liked very much but had a different sky color palette Lake Coeur d 'Alene Twilight 2|690x459

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@Larry_Greenbaum I’ll expand a little on Lon’s reply regarding TK Lights 3. Tony Kuyper sells the TK Actions Panel for Photoshop. This panel is a set of Photoshop extensions that many landscape photographers use for processing. The panel is best known for its ability to create Luminosity Masks, which allow you to make localized selections and adjustments to images based on their luminosity value. It also allows you to make selections based on color ranges and saturation levels, in addition to luminosity. The panel also provides one click buttons that automate many common multi-step procedures in Photoshop.

In my rework of Stephans image, I used the TK Panel to create a Lights 3 selection in PS. I then applied it to a curves adjustment layer, and pulled down on the curve to reduce the luminosity in the sky. The TK Panel allows you to make many selections of lights, darks and midtones, giving you a lot of control over what parts of the image you want to adjust. Lights 3 is a selection targeted at the brighter highlights, but the panel lets you select many tones, both in narrow and broad ranges.
These selections allow you to make better targeted and localized adjustments than are possible with either the Lightroom sliders, or it’s Range Mask function.

If you want the ultimate in control with your processing, Luminosity Masks are the way to go.

A very nice image, with fine quiet mood and a great sky.
I recognize the struggle with the reflection, as mentioned by @Ed_McGuirk. This is something that I often come across. I think I would keep the reflection as presented in the original image, but I would try to remove the twigs. This will take some time, but the image is worth it.

Stephen, this is a lovely view, with an interesting shoreline (shown well) and gentle warm colors in the sky and water. I also like the horizontal view, which might also look good cropped 4x5. The sunset colors in both are great.

Thanks, Ed. I have been on Tony’s website and have tried installing the V6 Basic panel to get started. I have e-mailed Tony to help because the installation does not work in the latest PS CC 21.0.2 version of PS 2020. I am sure Tony will help resolve this. I appreciate your and his help getting me into using luminosity masks as I think this technology will help me get my images to communicate more as I see them in my mind’s eye as Ansel says. Many thanks. As a new member of NPN, I am learning a great deal.

Perhaps this will help get Tony’s attention. @Tony_Kuyper.

BTW, I think the Select Color Range in PS can create the same masks for you. Instead of Lights 3 or 2 you just drag the slider, thus achieving any light level you want.

Thanks, Igor. I did look at Color Range and will be using it in the future.