Back Modifications (4)
Views: 96 (43 Unique)  Award Shortlist   

View from Castlerigg over Derwentwater

By johnone
Advice please! what does the sky need? and would I have been better cropping from the Conifer on the right? Thanks, John

Tags: Landscape and travel Landscape cumbria lakes

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


3 May 2012 2:06PM
Stunning view. Well composed and captured

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mhfore 11 6 176 England
3 May 2012 3:45PM
Hi John,

Sorry but there is not mush that can be done with the sky, I've opened the image up and there is no detail there to recover. Your best option with this image is to replace the sky which is easily done in a few different ways. If this is the route you want to go down, because of the tree's I would change the sky by going into "channels" selecting blue and slowly building the image up in levels by making the darks darker, greys grayer and whites whiter, sounds complicated but it isn't and this way allows you to drop a new sky in behind the tree branches. Unfortunately it would take a long time to write instructions on how to do it but if you want to know get in touch and I'll help.

With regards to the conifer I would leave it, but crop the right hand side to put it on the edge of the frame, I would also remove the three small hanging branches from across the top of the image.

Take care
miptog 12 3.6k 61 United Kingdom
3 May 2012 3:53PM
Sky has "blown" highlights, and without detail it cannot be recovered. Adding a "replacement" sky is the only option, which I have done as an example as a mod. In future you can try using a netural density filter to get detail in the sky, or by taking two exposures, one for the sky and one for the land, and then blendikng them in photoshop or the like
puertouk 6 1.1k 17 United Kingdom
3 May 2012 5:38PM
Hi John, a fabulous image, but we all suffer with the dreaded white-out skies. One way round it is take several images at different exposures, then either use HDR software or Photoshop. I've made a few adjustments in PS CS6, in camera raw, by adjusting highlights, shadows etc. Hope this is of help.
puertouk 6 1.1k 17 United Kingdom
3 May 2012 5:41PM
Also, try using a polarizing filter in all your landscape shots. It will help and also give your colours a boost as well
pamelajean Plus
12 1.1k 2022 United Kingdom
3 May 2012 5:53PM
What a shame about the sky, John, the image is otherwise very good.
I use PaintshopPro, so will be general with my suggestion. Replacing the sky is difficult with the trees, so I would simply try applying colour.
Using the magic wand, select the sky, not just the white bits, but the whole of it. If you just select the white, it will look patchy. This may mean adding some bits around the tree branches that the magic wand misses. Then flood fill, choosing a colour from the water, and fill the whole of the sky with the blue, but at a low opacity. I used 50%. That allows your few clouds to still show through your added blue. If you aren't happy with it, if it's too dark or too light, Undo and try a different blue or a different opacity. Before you undo the Selection, add a touch of contrast so that the clouds stand out more. Now undo the selection and have a look. There may still be little bits around the trees that are not filled, so you can do that with the clone brush or paint brush, zooming in close and using a small pixel brush, I used a 2 pixel brush.
Davesumner 11 28 300 Australia
4 May 2012 8:09AM
Hi John,

After reading the critique above and as usual, I thought I would add my little bit. It is all good and well to add a new sky but I would think you'd be better concentrating on why it overexposed in the first place. The last thing you need is to have to replace the sky in all of your landscape images. I support the old addage that you are better to get it right in camera than trying to fix errors in post production. Looking at the Exif data, i see you have used multi metering mode or matrix metering which means that your camera has looked at the entire scene and metered the best it could. now because the scene had more dynamic range than your camera can actually capture it has seen the darker land and exposed that correctly and because the sky is so bright it overexposed it and this is because it was out of the dynamic range that it was able to capture. Generally it is better to have a correctly exposed sky and darker foreground which can be brightened in post production because there is usually a lot more detail in underexposed areas than in overexposed areas.

If I was taking this shot I would have used centre weighted metering and fixed it on the sky using the exposure lock button (the blue star on most canon cameras)then recomposed to capture the scene. Alternatively you could use exposure bracketing (HDR) where the camera captures 1 x underexposed, 1 x on exposure and 1 x overexposed images which can be joined together in something like photomatix. Having said this, a lot of people will advise that you need at least 7 images of differing exposure to have a successful HDR.

I hope that this helps

paulbroad 10 123 1249 United Kingdom
4 May 2012 10:34AM
A lot of comment. This is actually a very difficult image to add a sky as the mist/cloud bleeds into the mountains and there are tree branches. I have to say that the mods all look less than natural and are very obvious.

The image is pleasant, but without a centre of interest - it is very generic. I would have given at least 2 stops exposure in the first place, then lightened the foreground in software. The general rule - expose for highlights - is usually correct.

johnone 8 38 United Kingdom
7 May 2012 8:34AM
Thank you all for your comments and advice which I will try to take heed of.
Regards John.

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