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Rolling over mountains

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The desert scene was very beautiful on my way to Grand canyon from California and I just took a picture of it. I was trying to reflect the mood of that moment in that desert surrounded by the nature's majesty.
I would like any criticism on how this photo could be improved, in terms of photo quality and composition. I tend not to do much post processing and to improve colour and levels minimally.

Brand:Nikon CORPORATION
Camera:Nikon D90 Check out Nikon Nation!
Lens:AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED Check out Nikon Nation!
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Focal Length:75mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/5.5
Aperture:f/14.0
Shutter Speed:1/100sec
Exposure Comp:-1/3
ISO:320
Exposure Mode:Aperture-priority AE
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:No Flash
White Balance:Auto
Title:Rolling over mountains
Username:thevamaranr thevamaranr
Uploaded:27 Oct 2012 - 8:39 PM
Tags:Arizona desert, Mountain, Rain clouds, Wildlife / nature
VS Mode Rating 100 (33.33% won)
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
Jestertheclown
27 Oct 2012 - 9:05 PM

I've uploaded a mod. in which I've adjusted the lower, dark, portion, using 'curves' to increase brightness and contrast. Then I turned my attention to the rest and used curves again to bring up the colour and contrast; the sky responded particularly well.
I had then, to slightly de-saturate it, using the blue channel only.
I then merged the two using a layer mask. I also tidied up the edge of the blue strip (a lake?) with a little cloning, although I think that the damage I repaired was caused by my use of the mask.
Finally, some very quick and fairly random dodging and burning; you could do a much better job of this on (a copy of) your larger original.
Hope this helps.

Bren.

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banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 10868 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2867 Constructive Critique Points
27 Oct 2012 - 9:55 PM

Its a shot that in three sections, and each one really needs to be exposed differently. This would mean, that on site, you would use a tripod and shoot three shots, one to expose the foreground properly; one for the mid distant mountains, ideally using a circular polarizer; and one for the sky, then combine in Photoshop.

As it is, the predominant sky has determined the exposre, resulting in a very dark foreground desert; the mountains low in contrast due to either light or mist; and a nice sky.


IN photoshop, you can break the shot into the three areas, and using curves and layer masks, treat each one individually.


Ive loaded a mod that Ive done to show what I mean. I also cropped some space from the top to achieve a panoramic aspect ratio.


Hope this helps,



regards



Willie

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Jestertheclown
27 Oct 2012 - 9:57 PM

That's what I was trying to do!

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Focus_Man
Focus_Man  4481 forum posts United Kingdom631 Constructive Critique Points
28 Oct 2012 - 9:08 AM

I am not overkeen on the massive central interest here and have uploaded a mod with the mountain peak off centre. What is really needs now however, is something else within the picture to be a focal point to allow that super peak to be complementary to say a white house or a similar structure somewhere around the lower RH quarter. Given the area is rather barren that would be difficult to find so I feel the off centre shot is probably the best you will get from the image.

Frank

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paulbroad
paulbroad  781 forum posts United Kingdom853 Constructive Critique Points
28 Oct 2012 - 3:26 PM

I think this look a lot better to the eye than you recorded it. The image is very flat and needs a contrast boost. Compositionally the mountain is too central and needs to be offset to the left. You then need some type of foreground interest to act as a subject.

Paul

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thevamaranr
30 Oct 2012 - 5:34 AM

Thank you very much for your suggestions and modifications. I really appreciate them. But, one thing I couldn't understand is the need for exposing every part of the photo, something like an HDR. In order to express the mood, I'm not sure if it is necessary to perfectly express all the components of the photograph. And I use Aperture to do processing. I'm not sure if it's possible to do HDR type of work in it, like merging three exposures. What do you think?

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