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Yueya Spring, Gansu

By litesport
Sand dunes in the Gobi desert.

Tags: Desert China Sand dunes Landscape and travel Gansu



litesport 5 3 United Kingdom
5 Aug 2021 10:20AM
This is the untouched jpeg file, I also have the untouched raw file.
I was looking for a geometric kind of effect with the sky and shadows on the sand dunes. I feel that they sky needs editing as it it too light. But making it too blue would also look unnatural. And I feel that I should have lowered the camera so as to get more dune and less sky. Obviously this can be cropped and edited. Feedback/criticism and edits most welcome.
banehawi Plus
19 2.9k 4354 Canada
5 Aug 2021 2:32PM
Theres one file, the untouched JPEG; the untouched RAW can only be uploaded as a JPEG also, perhaps why its not here.

Its untouched as far as processing is concerned, though it does appear to have been cropped a little, - it doesnt have the original aspect ratio.

An interesting shot, ideal for a geometric presentation as you suggest. You used an auto exposure mode, giving full control to the camera.The light was very bright, and the result is a low contrast image that can be improved in post processing. The bright, slightly hazy appearance most likely reduces and or most of the sky colour.

Auto white balance probably already biases the images away from yellow towards blue, and it can look better with the sand corrected to be more yellow. This makes a blue sky less likely.

Ive added 2 mods. Both 16X9 crops, one with more space at the bottom, even less at the top. Both have a warmer white balance; black level set to 20, vibrance increased and a little sharper to try ro get more texture. A few spots removed.

Lets know what you think.


mrswoolybill Plus
16 4.1k 2606 United Kingdom
5 Aug 2021 5:03PM
It's a fascinating shot, and thanks for giving us additional information and a question to work on. That makes all the difference...

I've added a modification. On opening this I immediately wanted to do what Willie has done compositionally, to take the diagonals tidily into the corners. Whether this was possible in real life, I don't know, but it enhances the abstract character.

I warmed colour, made a Levels adjustment to boost darker tones, cropped to 19 x 9 and used Free Transform to get the corners tidy. The main thing that I would recommend is the Dehaze slider in Photoshop Camera Raw, I used +15% which has brought out detail. The result is similar to Willie's, via a slightly different route.

Do the mods look anything like your memory of the scene? That's the key...
rontear Plus
20 23 9 England
5 Aug 2021 6:42PM
Sharp edges of light !!!! Fascinating !
dudler Plus
19 2.0k 2018 England
5 Aug 2021 9:04PM
I really wish that the point where two lines meet was in the frame!

Given the lovely geometry, it's easy to use the spot healing tool, I suspect, to achieve this - cheating, but...

Removing sky, as Moira has done, seems a natural way to go, and I would be tempted to increase saturation of blue, but not yellow. However, you say that this wouldn't be true to the scene - I infer that you don't want to do it: I might well have tried a polarising filter to see if I could get a deeper blue when shooting!

An alternative route is black and white...
miptog 17 3.6k 68 United Kingdom
7 Aug 2021 5:28PM
Simply rotating the image left, and doing a few minor tweaks the image makes an interesting abstract. Numerous ways to crop and edit for a range of different effects, and you could even give it a Warhol treatment.
litesport 5 3 United Kingdom
8 Aug 2021 3:30AM
Thank you for your comments everyone. I do appreciate this offering from ephotozine and the time you put into this.
With regards to the aspect ratio mentioned by Banehawi, I was a bit surprised by this comment as I have not edited the picture at all.

Looking at my camera settings, which I have hardly changed from default, I see that the default aspect ratio is 4:3.
So now the question is, do I leave it at 4:3 or do I change it to 3:2?
Suggestions with reasons greatly appreciated.

Article on Olympus aspect ratio settings here:
miptog 17 3.6k 68 United Kingdom
8 Aug 2021 1:24PM
I suggest you leave it as 4:3 as
Quote: The default aspect ratio is 4:3, which is the aspect ratio of the imaging sensor.
. You can always adjust the aspect ratio in post edit. However when taking a photo you may wish to leave room in the frame to cater for the aspect ratio you may want later (if that makes sense)

The article you linked to is quite informative, and a good guide.

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