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bendy road

By chedd  
Another one from our road trip of the astonishing HWY 190 on the "Nadeau Trail" just north of Panamint Valley in California ( 4/8/13 )......... It's just how I imagined it Grin
3 stop HDR taken ( +/- 1 stop ) with a Canon 7D @10mm tripod mounted.

I have asked for critique as I am struggling to process / tease out the wider detail in this just seems to lack "clarity". The road itself goes on for about 8 miles ahead and this was taken early morning before the haze started building. Is my best hope to continue to "dodge & burn" the road ( which is starting to look very obvious by now ) or am I missing a trick here?

Any advice would be gratefully received Smile

Tags: California Mojave desert Landscape and travel Roadtrip HWY 190 Panamint valley

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cats_123 Plus
15 4.9k 29 Northern Ireland
20 Aug 2013 7:58AM
Love the `snake-like' tarmac repairs...the shot looks fine to me...but I have had a play in LR4 anyway...

I use an auto exposure and add clarity/vibrance as start poimts to my uploads and then tone them back as I see them.

This has:-
exp -.30
contrast +25
Clarity +30
vibrance +25

then just played around with the radius/masking sliders Smile

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iancrowson Plus
9 213 146 United Kingdom
20 Aug 2013 9:53AM
Great shot, classic.
You did not get run down by a group of easy riders!
Not really too sure of what you are aiming for in the processing.
I would not have bothered with HDR for such an image.
I would take the correctly exposed RAW file (check histogram) and apply clarity, vibrance and saturation sliders (say 50, 25 ,10 in Adobe camera raw) after looking at colour temp slider.
In photoshop I would consider my result and maybe check out mid tones in levels and a trial sharpening in unsharp mask.
Any finished image is very much to personal taste. Yours looks ok to be but my mod looks better, but that's just taste.
My advice is go back to single RAW file and work it again
SueEley 13 279 96 Wales
20 Aug 2013 2:08PM
Really like the shot - colour, composition, perspective! Classic shot as has been said. I think the texture in the foreground is just a bit too much for me, as it takes away from everything else. Would be interesting to see a letterbox crop at or near the base of the while lines. Sue
chedd 8 1 United Kingdom
20 Aug 2013 8:34PM
Thank you for taking the time to give me your suggestions and improve the image. I will spend some time in LR now and see if I can improve on it. The foreground is way to "in your face" now you mention it so thats the first thing to sort.
Once again many, many thanks.
Sooty_1 9 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
21 Aug 2013 12:07AM
Just not sure why you didn't stand in the middle of the road? Having gone to the trouble of getting it "almost there", the slight off-centeredness of it jars with me. It isn't far enough off to look deliberate, so I can only guess it was inattention to detail.

I wouldn't bother with HDR either, but then I think a lot of people use it in an attempt to correct inaccurate exposure. There should be no lack of detail in these conditions, though an even earlier start would be better - the sun looks to be too high to really sidelight the small details in the road surface. The other thing that may help your clarity issue, is a polarising filter. When used correctly, it will cut down scattered light and help with haze, which even early in the morning will still be evident (as here, the "aerial perspective" tells us that the right hills are further away than the left ones).

By oversharpening to try to drag detail out, you get particular effects at light/dark edges that look like haloes - a similar effect is seen with small details like stones/gravel/grass etc that makes it look overprocessed. There should be enough sharpness in the lens to bring out the detail without resorting to excess processing, so perhaps lack of critical sharpness is due to hand-holding, and maybe not using the lens at it's optical optimum (usually around f/8-f/11).

One last thing, my eyes are drawn repeatedly to the redness in the bottom left - if it's a logo, its unreadable and thus a waste of time. I'm not a big fan of logos on pictures in forums (I suspect you would be unlikely to get any benefit from them anyway, this isn't an advertising space and they just detract from the image).


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