Back Modifications (7)
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Branches Catch the Clouds

By gerainte1
Walking up to the west ridge of Moel Siabod you pass under this tree which just happened, it seemed, to be reaching out to catch the excellent clouds.

I've tried to capture the range of tones and keep this sharp. The original was cropped on the left as it seemed to lead out of the picture.

Any thoughts as always appreciated, may be a bit dark?

Tags: Mountain Tree Clouds Snowdonia B and w Landscape and travel

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Niknut Plus
12 3.4k 82 United Kingdom
26 May 2014 7:56PM
Beautiful shot !!.....lovely composition, with a great sky !!.Smile

Couldn't resist a simple mod. to adjust the tones of the image, to add a bit of 'zing' to the sky, & tone down the f/g rocks........
26 May 2014 8:24PM
Thanks Nik, excellent mod, you've brought out the contrasts beautifully.
dark_lord Plus
18 3.0k 835 England
26 May 2014 8:34PM
Your composition is fine.
My eye is drawn to the bright foreground rock. As it stands, the tree gets a little lost against that vey nice sky, as there are effectively two patterns on top of one another.

However, Niknut's mod has improved the issue, and addressed the bright rocks in the foreground.
These are minor adjustments (and to be fair there are many different presentations possible with mono).

26 May 2014 8:38PM
HI Keith,

Thanks for the comment. Yes agree the tree get's lost in mine, which is why I tried to darken it but this did not really help me. I think Niknut has lightened the sky, don't know why I didn't thin of that!
banehawi Plus
18 2.8k 4333 Canada
26 May 2014 9:11PM
Its a fine image Geraint.

Can you upload the original colour version as your own mod?

I would like to show how the conversion process to mono has a very big bearing on the resulting image, the colour version will be very helpful.

The mod is good, - its essentially a reversal of the light and dark areas which you can do during the conversion also.

Im not sure how you currently convert, perhaps you can fill us in also. Its a good learning opportunity for you and us. But do remove that very dark triangle bottom right!

I will check back.


26 May 2014 10:19PM
Hi Willie, an original appears to be there .

I use LR5. This is all rather hit and miss, which appears to be the way I learn, through mistakes. I'm not very good at watching vids or reading the book.

So I go to camera calibration, and choose one , usually standard, then set white balance to what I think looks OK, covert to B&W and work on exposure, contrast, clarity, black/white sliders, then colours in B&Wmix. I also use the dodge and burn tool.

As I say, this is all a lot of trial and error, I've had LR for about 2 months and it's a steep learning curve.

Advice gratefully received.

I presume what Nicknut did requires Photoshop?
banehawi Plus
18 2.8k 4333 Canada
26 May 2014 11:15PM
Thanks for the original Geraint. I assume Niknut did use Photoshop from the description.

Do you have Photoshop as well as LR?

I will work on this and load some stuff.


banehawi Plus
18 2.8k 4333 Canada
27 May 2014 12:54AM
Ive taken a look at LR and black and white processes.

There are presets on the left, as you know; but theres also, on the right panel a black and white option; if you select this, and then scroll down and look at hue on the right panel, it will show you what it has used to get the mono image you see; you can change any on these colour hue settings to get a different result. For example, to darken the sjy, increase the negative value of blue; to affect the stones, alter yellow or orange. You need to play around to see what you can do.

Photoshop also has the added option, LR doesnt do this, of duo-toning images which can look good.

Mods I have uploaded: the original colour with a correction to white balance; your original is 5150K, which is too cool for the image: a couple straight from LR, with the standard look and then a darker sky: and finally, a duo-tone from Photoshop.


paulbroad Plus
15 131 1294 United Kingdom
27 May 2014 8:15AM
For me, the sky lacks impact and vibrance. Whilst I appreciate mono in this image, you need the clouds brighter and the sky darker as with a polarised image, or by shifting the mono conversion towards infra red. I think a polarised colour image may have more visual impact, though.

27 May 2014 8:54AM
Thanks Wille and Paul again helpful comments. A polariser would have been good, I have one don't know why I didn't use it, I think I was hurrying to get the sky.

Willie, thanks for the mods too. The colour is very good. I have done a colour version as there is such a great variety of colour in the scene but
I tried B&W to get more contrast but mine lacked something , which is why I posted it, and very one has picked up on the sky tree contrast/vibrance.
Very interesting how each has approached this issue differently. The duo is very interesting, LR5 has a large number of presets like this but I tend to ignore them. In future I will run through some to see how they look.

Thanks again everyone really helpful as always.
banehawi Plus
18 2.8k 4333 Canada
27 May 2014 2:01PM
To do a mod similar to Keith B in LR, you use the Adjustment Brush.

Select it, and then in the drop down, set the exposure to some negative value; then paint over the areas you want darker, like the rocks; when your done, varying the exposure slider wil affect only the rocks; then to brighten the sky, etc. click NEW, set the exposure to a positive value and apply to the sky. The brush only applies the change to each are you touch just once, so if you brush over an area a couple of time in error, it doesnt matter. To deselet the brush, just click it and youre done.

27 May 2014 8:00PM
Thanks Banehawi, I did try this but, it is really difficult to get around stuff like this tree, I didn't want to lighten that too.
dudler Plus
19 2.0k 1966 England
27 May 2014 9:25PM
I'm still a darkroom person at heart, so my approach is to dodge and burn... This allows more finesse with where you lighten and darken than a layers approach.

In my head, there's a sort of ideal shot lurking in here, with a deep sky, fluffy white clouds, and good beefy tones in the rocks. And a little burning in all round the edges. Darkening the tones at the edges keeps the eye in the frame. And, finally, a levels adjustment of the midtone input slider to get those beefy tones!

I'm not sure i've got the ideal, but just to show a variety of approaches, my mod's coming, for what it's worth. Plus a second version, starting from the full colour image.
Sooty_1 12 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
27 May 2014 10:46PM
A couple of Lightroom pointers:
1. You can split tone in lr5, there is an option in the develop module.
2. Selecting the small circle in the left of the hue/saturation/luminance panel, you can move the pointer over a colour/tone in your image, then by holding down the left mouse button, you can drag that colour/tone lighter/darker etc, rather than selecting a particular colour slider. Useful for black and white, you can change the tonal relationship between parts of the picture easily.

28 May 2014 9:11AM
Dudler, hi, thanks for the pointer again. I really like your second mod. Both versions are excellent, both really dramatic, I'm drawn to the second, I know what people have said about the dark corner but here it works
Thanks again.

Hi Nick,

Thanks for the info, didn't know this will give it a go.

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