Back Modifications (3)
Views: 40 (17 Unique)  Award Shortlist   

Rolling over mountains

By thevamaranr
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.

Tags: Mountain Rain clouds Wildlife and nature Arizona desert

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
27 Oct 2012 9:05PM
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.


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banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3865 Canada
27 Oct 2012 9:55PM
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,


Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
27 Oct 2012 9:57PM
That's what I was trying to do!
Focus_Man 8 481 631 United Kingdom
28 Oct 2012 9:08AM
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.

paulbroad 10 123 1238 United Kingdom
28 Oct 2012 3:26PM
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.

30 Oct 2012 5:34AM
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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