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Peeking Through the Clouds

By Bajob3
I'd love some critique on this images. I like it because 5 minutes before there was no mountain and 5 minutes later it was gone again. How should I process it and how can I improve it. Thank you

Tags: Landscape and travel Exhibition2020 Alaska Canada 2015 TOP PRINT



sherlob Plus
17 3.3k 133 United Kingdom
23 Jan 2021 11:52PM
I like the image. It has a strong layered composition - the trees anchor the image well and the mountain scene behind is simply splendid. I'm not sure if the post processing needs much else, albeit it looks a tad soft to me. I suspect this is an issue with your sharpening in post rather than any problem with the original image. Remember, when reducing an image from a very high resolution to one that is to be seen on the web - sharpening matters. If you wanted to get creative I strongly suspect that there is a really moody mono in here too.
23 Jan 2021 11:59PM
I added a mod. Upped the saturation and contrast a little, slid the definition up. And opened shadows a little to go with the contrast. Small difference.

And, is is a beautiful, ghostly photo. The mountains seem to float, quite something for that mass.

banehawi Plus
19 2.9k 4354 Canada
24 Jan 2021 4:09AM
Its a nice image. As mentioned above, it seems a little soft, and may be due to processing for the site. It may also be due to using the high ISO, and the camera reducing noise using a slight blur. This could have been shot at a far lower ISO that 1600.

Its a good size to handle a 16X9 crop, and with a little sharpening, slightly warmer, and a touch of contrast and saturation, it works well.

All done in the mod,


Bajob3 2
24 Jan 2021 7:57AM
Thank you all. I have uploaded the original. As always it is amazing to see the different variations on the image I had uploaded. I love the extra touch of warmth and sharpening. It was spectacular to see in real life and no photo could do it justice, thank you for helping me to bring out the best in what I have.
capto Plus
11 7.2k 33 United Kingdom
24 Jan 2021 8:02AM
A smashing shot. I have done a mod, used the dehaze filter in PS camera raw and a little touch of local sharpening to the mountain.
dudler Plus
19 2.1k 2018 England
24 Jan 2021 9:00AM
My comments are about the camerawork: judicious sharpening will help, but you can't create detail that's not on the image to begin with. That's why Ansel Adams used glass plates in a large-format camera, and why many digital landscapers use 40mp+ sensors. Medium format and 50mp would rock a scene like this.

But medium format cameras are big, and they're heavy, and they are very expensive.

I wondered whether your superzoom might be part of the problem, and then I realised that there may have been two other factors affecting sharpness. The conditions were obviously cold: cold people shiver, and that's bad for camera stability (which is also why most landscapers use a tripod). And you may well have been walking, exerting yourself uphill, or through snow: again, heavy muscle use makes you liable to shake more than usual. I entirely understand the desire not to carry extra weight, but if the pictures are important for you, a good tripod is worth carrying.

A marvellous view: and Willie's slight crop makes all the difference: it's so much bigger, perceptually. I may try a mod that goes a long way from reality, and makes it about blocks of tone rather than individual twigs...

viscostatic 16 50 11 United Kingdom
24 Jan 2021 10:13AM
I certainly think your lead image is a considerable improvement on the original shown in mod3. The composition is so much better, removing the empty area of cloud to the left and some of the foreground. I do like the way you have used the tops of the trees to screen the mountain as though we are looking through a curtain to what is beyond. I also think there is something magical about a mountain swathed in cloud. I did play around with it in Photoshop but I can't do any better than Willie in mod2 or Ivor's slightly colder mod in mod4.

Bajob3 2
24 Jan 2021 10:54AM
Again thank you. Not long after image was taken the front came off the lens. I had to do a temporary repair as I was on holiday and when I came back I had the lens check out and it isnít always finding true focus. I have recently switched full frame and got a 24-70 and the difference in sharpness is noticeable.
chase Plus
17 2.5k 676 England
24 Jan 2021 11:15AM
This is stunning scenery and you have a great selection of modifications to look at.
Sorry to hear you had problems with your lens, I hope all is now ok.

As others have suggested, this needs a bit of a contrast boost as it is generally a little tonally flat.

I did 2 mods based on your original image.
Increased contrast selectively.
Cropped from the top, bottom and left put the mountain on the left third of the frame.
Warmed up slightly using the camera raw filter.
Attempted to add a little sharpening, too much and the halos start to appear and the composition becomes wirey.

Had a bash with a mono conversion too although not my strong point I think it suits the image as the trees in the fg become almost silhouetted against the mountain.
Paintman 16 1.5k 180 United Kingdom
24 Jan 2021 12:10PM
I like the photo and the composition with the trees acting as a barrier to look over as well as giving a sense of scale works well. There is enough detail in the dark bases of the trees to stop it being just a black featureless mass.

The two mods I up\loaded just changed the contrasts using a layer mask and selective dodging and burning. Darkening the trees as a mass ( whilst still retaining detail ) tends to let the eye scim over them to the mountain behind. I think the subject for this is the light and atmospheric clouds, so the mods were done to give these more emphasis and, hopefully, create an atmospheric image.

This is only a suggestion of the kind of processing you could try.
dudler Plus
19 2.1k 2018 England
24 Jan 2021 1:03PM
OK, it's soft because the lens was about to drop to bits!

I'm still interested in cold, exertion, and possible use of a tripod...
dark_lord Plus
19 3.0k 836 England
24 Jan 2021 1:16PM
I won't do a mod as it'll be similar to what's already been done.
There's plenty of suggestions and information on processing applied above, all of which should be in your toolbox of techniques but not all will be needed or appropriate on every image.

John makes an interesting comment about large sensors though smaller sensors are fine for a lot of work. And you can always stitch images together.
But it does bring up one point here. The cropped image is well composed and full of interest. You had plenty of room for manoeuvre in terms of focal length setting at the time of capture to avoid cropping later (no matter how many pixls you have, making the most of them is still important. So while post processing is important it's also important to capture as good a starting point as you can. That may mean taking, say, a dozen different images, get as much out of the scene as you can. That means developing an all-seeing eye for different possibilities in framing and composition. I can see a portrait format image with the trees and just the peak. Five minutes may not be long but it's enough to 'work the subject'.
Bajob3 2
24 Jan 2021 5:08PM
Again, thank you all. I didn't use a tripod as it was only a five minute stop on the way to catch a boat and the photo was taken from the other side of the road to the bus, I tend now to use a tripod a lot more It's an area I would love to have spent more time at and have a couple of similar photos with the mountains peeking through the clouds as there were a couple of stops as it was an organised tour. I have no doubt though that there could have been a big element of PICNIC too. I got extremely lazy when I switched from film to digital and am now starting to pay better attention at the moment of taking the images based on the feedback from this group - thank you. I have also invested in some better quality glass which is paying off too.
banehawi Plus
19 2.9k 4354 Canada
24 Jan 2021 5:34PM
Seems like a soft zoom lens issue then it seems.
dudler Plus
19 2.1k 2018 England
25 Jan 2021 8:20PM
Thank you for the response: if you were on a coach, fatigue and cold are relatively unlikely to affect your steadiness. Rage, if you're sitting in earshot of a complete and loud muppet is possible, though!

Digital tends to make us all lazy, because you can repair almost anything if you spend long enough on it. But then, if you spend long enough on it, you can draw everything...
PCA 3 1 2 France
14 Feb 2021 1:43PM
A really nice image with (in my mind) little to do. I'd maybe dodge and burn a little to enhance the mood (bring down those clouds right and left a little and ditto the trees to bring the focus more to the subject) but apart from that it's lovely.

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