Back Modifications (5)
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Valley View

By SalmanLV
Sunrise over Yosemite Valley at Valley View
3 shot panorama
10-stop ND with 3 stop soft ND grad & circ-polarizer
2 minute exposure

How to best deal with the burnt out highlights?

Tags: Landscape and travel Yosemite NP


chase Plus
14 1.2k 259 England
9 Sep 2019 11:09AM
Hi Salman,
to be quite honest if tis were mine I wouldn't worry too much about those highlights, when I first looked at this image, without reading your narrative, I thought...Fire and Ice.Looks like a volcano has erupted.
Toning down the highlights would perhaps involve the clone tool as one way of doing it.
I would brighten up the bottom half of the image a touch and remove the Dust Bunny top right.
I will try a mod although landscapes are so not my thing.

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chase Plus
14 1.2k 259 England
9 Sep 2019 11:43AM
Lightened the bottom half of the image using levels.
Removed dust bunny, had a go at reducing some of the highlights with the clone tool.
Attempted to reduce some of the banding in the sky with a touch of gaussian blur on a selective layer.
Coverted to sRGB colour profile which is really the one to use for images on here.
Hope that helps.
banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4032 Canada
9 Sep 2019 12:58PM
Gorgeous shot.

First thing to realise here is that you dont have burned out highlights at all.

Assuming you are referring to the yellow tops of the mountains, I have uploaded a mod1 showing that this "apparent" burned effect is a very high saturation of yellow in that tonal range. A high yellow sat of Yellow and Red tends to glow.

The mod has yellow saturation reduced by -15, and red by -10 in those areas also; a little exposure increase lower down. Thats it, not reduction of highlights applied.

Hope this helps,


capto Plus
7 5.8k 11 United Kingdom
9 Sep 2019 2:27PM
It's important to follow the advice concerning uploading with profiles other than sRGB as it can result in the the image not being as you had expected when viewed online.
It's a wonderful scene, I have done a mod processing it to my taste.
dark_lord Plus
15 2.3k 586 England
9 Sep 2019 7:51PM
I saw this first thing this morning on my phonebefore work. I didn't notice any burned out highlights then and I stil don't see them back on my monitor.
Very bright areas, yes, and Willie has covered that.
But you've handled them very well in what is a very tricky lighting condition.The mods with a small boost to brightness and contrast in the middle of the image do make it 'pop'.

I can understand the use of the graduated filter (and that's been jandled well as it's difficult to see if one's ben used, always good sign!).
But I'm intrigued as to why you used an ND10, and a polariser. The long shutter speed as a result hasn't affected the image and still(!) there's little movement in the water and no clouids to show movement. All of which could leadto that decision. It just appears that it hasn't resulted in any difference to, for example, using a shutter speed of 1 s.
I'm not saying you shouldn't have tried that, it's just that i think you could have saved a lot of effort.

Nonetheless, a fine result and I would have voted on this and possibly shortlisted it for a User Award in the main Gallery.
dudler Plus
16 927 1516 England
11 Sep 2019 8:05AM
I wonder if the ND filter was to get the smooth water? If you'd gone for a less extreme shutter speed, you could have used HDR to extend the tonal range - but, as Willie says, it wasn't actually necessary. Sometimes, the histogram doesn't tell the whole story.

Like Keith, I'd be considering a user award if this was in the main gallery.
14 Sep 2019 12:02AM
Thanks for all the useful input.
I shot some with and some without the polarizer, I liked the ones with the polarizer in effect as it darkened the water.
Without the 10-stop ND grad, faster shutter speeds of 1-2 seconds did not give the water a glassy effect which I was shooting for.
There were no clouds in the morning so there are no fuzzy clouds, which I don't miss any way.
There was such a great discrepancy between the bright yellow sky at the horizon and the fairly deep blue sky that the 3-stop soft ND grad did'n't quite flatten it out, though I guess the sky is still okay. Any stronger grad would likely have shown in the shot as the horizon is very non-linear.
dudler Plus
16 927 1516 England
14 Sep 2019 6:20AM
All fair comment, I think.

It's always interesting to know the why, as well as the what: and often, the reasons are to do with a relatively-minor element of the image, as others see it.

In this case, the glassy water: I think most of us would have been delirious at the prospect of such wonderful light in an iconic location, demonstrating why it's iconic!

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