Back Modifications (6)
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snow beach pier people

By Roy_Perryman  
Nikon z50 Snow filled day at the beach, people enjoying the view while socially distanced and masked, wondering if the good people of this site feel the image would look better if colours were enhanced and how I could bring the snow covered hills in the background to life.

Tags: Snow Beach Sussex Eastbourne Landscape and travel

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Comments


mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2395 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2021 9:09AM
Hello again! Thanks for asking such clear, thoughtful questions, it really helps.

First of all, consider what you were photographing here, a view seen through falling snow. That's a sort of natural texture filter... To my mind any overt attempt to, say, increase contrast, brightness, saturation on the distant hillside would kill the atmosphere.

BUT - I think the key is, as it usually is in processing, in looking at light enhancement. This is slightly underexposed (although as you were in manual, the -2/3 EV that you had set will not make any material difference). Add half a stop exposure and the image does come to life better for me. I also boosted whites and added small pluses on clarity and dehaze. That's my first modification - NB no adjustment was made to colour, but I think there is a marked improvement there, and it's all down to light.

The second modification is just how I see this, I reckon it's crying out for hard, gritty, contrasty b&w. Worked in Nik Silver Efex.

I took the liberty of removing your logo, simply because it's a distraction for critique purposes, we do ask for them not to be included in CG uploads.
Moira
9 Feb 2021 10:09AM
Hi Moira,

Thanks for your enlightening comments, I donít seem to be able to see the alterations! I will try to remember about the logo. Roy
9 Feb 2021 10:10AM
Hi Moira, ignore me, I found the mods doh.

Loving the black and white. The colour is much better too, thanks for the advice.
chase Plus
15 2.1k 562 England
9 Feb 2021 10:37AM
With such an amount of snow falling you are probably going to struggle as far as colour/clarity goes.
This is slightly under exposed as I see it here, Moiras' first modification has addressed some of the issues and added a little more clarity and contrast to your image. Saying that, the mono conversion looks good with the grain adding to the snow effect.

I will have a bash at a mod and see what comes out in the wash.
chase Plus
15 2.1k 562 England
9 Feb 2021 10:50AM
So, I used a simple levels layer in Photoshop and brought in the blacks and whites which lightened the whole thing and increased some of the contrast.
Opened in the Camera Raw filter and warmed the whole frame up. Increased clarity and dehazed very slightly.
I used the burn tool at around 3% on the hills at the back jus to try and bring them into view through the snow a little better.
Cropped a little from the top which removed your logo and put the person standing on the post right onto the RHS third.
HTH
9 Feb 2021 11:09AM
Thanks Chase, I think Moiraís suggestion of the BW image is the way to go with this frame. Thanks for your help. Roy
chase Plus
15 2.1k 562 England
9 Feb 2021 11:53AM
I would tend to agree with you given the conditions you were shooting in.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2395 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2021 11:56AM
Thanks for your feedback, it's great when we hear back from people - sometimes we feel as though we are just typing into the void...

I'm glad if we have given you ideas to think about. For b&w, using Nik Silver Efex I added a fair amount of contrast, some brightness, and a bit of burn edges as well as a frame. I also used a film effect (Fuji Neopan ACROS 100), but did not further increase grain - that effect comes from the increased ISO and also I think from the snow in the sky.

But always start with the light!
Moira
9 Feb 2021 12:49PM
Thanks Moira
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1832 England
9 Feb 2021 1:33PM
Sorry I'm a bit late here.

The big thing here is the exposure, first and foremost. Shooting in manual (which is not usually my choice) you need to take the light reading, then increase exposure by around half to one stop. In any auto mode, set + exposure compensation of the same amount.

Why? Because the camera always tries to reduce the scene to a mid-grey. If the subject is, overall, lighter than this (here, greys and whites), it will underexpose and give the dull look you have here.

I like the playfulness of the girl on top of the breakwater: I'd have taken the shot and then tried hard to get a better composition - either from somewhere to the left, and higher up (so that she is isolated against the sea on the right, and diagonally opposite the pier head) or left, so that she's again not in front of the pier, and an opposing centre of interest on the left with the pier on the right. As they say on CSI, work the scene! But take the shot first, in case she jumps down at once.

Colour can be wonderful when it adds to the mood, but often it's a distraction, so that black-and-white will be your friend. But I shall have a go at a mod...
banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4227 Canada
9 Feb 2021 2:31PM
Last one here. Its a nice shot, though underexposed.

Added a mod at +1, shadows lifted, a little detail on the hills, slightly warmer.


Regards


Willie
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 761 England
9 Feb 2021 2:38PM
I'm late too, so I'll summarise my thoughts.

The underexposure has robbed the scene of colour. The only enhancement as such is to brighten it. Weak colour are fine, ot every scene needs to be, or necessarily is, vibrant but brightness and clarity do make a difference.

You're shooing through falling snow so the background hills will be muted. That's ok but you can enhance them using local feathered areas of adjustment, using Curves, Contrast or Dodge and Burn tools.

In low contrast conditions the camera can produce very flat results which need a helping hand.

The key is using those sparingly so the result appears natural and how you remember it rather than ending up with something that looks false for the conditions.
pamelajean Plus
15 1.5k 2211 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2021 3:59PM
Hello again, Roy.

I don't think your colours need enhancing, and I like that little bit of colour that exists, especially the pavillion's dome and the girl's T-shirt. That's quite enough for a snow scene. Further enhancement would make it look unnatural.

That background is so nicely diffused, you don't need to change it, it's again quite natural and, in my opinion, only to be expected from a scene where it is snowing. The foreground breakers and figures are nicely defined and the background falls off. That's only to be expected, just like mist or fog will diffuse whatever is behind the foreground subject. It creates a sense of depth.
Your main subject is nicely placed in the frame.

The brightening that people have done in their modifications makes a lot of difference to the impact the image has, but without spoiling the snowy atmosphere.

HERE is an EPZ article about Black And White Snow Scenes, and HERE is one with 5 top tips.

And well done for braving the weather to get a good photograph like this.

Pamela.

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