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Old Apr 5, 2007, 9:35 AM   #1
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I have some images of landscapes with the sky blown out. This is a very common scenario!

So I tried a simple trick. I used the magic wand to select the sky (the image lent itself well for that) and then used auto levels to change it! Manual level adjustments would have had the same effect though!

The trouble is, when I save the image after that, I find that the image looks ARTIFICIAL. The places where the sky touches the building has odd colours and it looks like the sky was super imposed.

How do I correct this kind of mistake in future? I didn't use layers in this case ( I am new to photoshop, and dnt know much abt anything in it).

Attached is the image i am talking of!


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Old Apr 5, 2007, 3:13 PM   #2
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The edges are a little easier to deal with if you straighten them some. Aliasing is reduced that way.

It is a lot easier to work on the full sized image for that sort of thing. That particular image is not only lacking pixels but has some extreme compression artifacts. Not worth spending a lot of time on, but edges don't seem to be that big a problem. I have no idea why your edges looked artificial. The compression artifacts are messing up the edges but you wouldn't have that problem with the full sized image. Or even with one using less compression. You should have been able to use a level 10 in Photoshop and still have that sized image small enough to post. It looks like you used around level 3 or did multiple compressions.

For that sort of thing I don't usually use any feathering as I want the edges sharp.

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Old Apr 6, 2007, 1:00 AM   #3
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I've gotten color banding doing exactly what you did, but usually only on skies that were so over exposed that heroic levels of "Levels" had to be employed to bring out any color or detail. If they aren't too extensive, I have had good luck "painting" over the discolored bands with the saturate/desaturate tool. If the bands or blotches are big, I've been able to lessen them by reselecting the entire sky and playing with the "Selective Color" box. This lets you emphasize/de-emphasize many different colors. Sometimes I've even had good results using the Eye Dropper in the Select Color Range box (select>Color Range) to select the color(s) of the band. Then the selected area can often be made to blend in with the surrounding area by bringing up the Hue/Saturation box and playing with the sliders.

In a similar way, that last method can often be used to lessen the harsh borders you talk about between the sky and other objects. Sometimes that border can be chromatic aberration that was harder to see with the unaltered bright sky. Your levels darkening makes it show up better. I think this method is explained in some detail in numerous places on the web if you run a search on "removing chromatic aberration", or something similar.

I've found that sometimes you just can't bring out an over-exposed sky without making the pic look artificial. If there's too much difference in the brightness level of the processed sky and the brightness we think the sky should have judging by the overall brightness and contrast of the rest of the image, it ends up looking wrong. In cases like that, I either settle for less darkening of the sky or I replace it completely. Again, searching for "sky replacement techniques", or similar, will get you a lot of tutorials on how to do this.

One of the fastest and easiest ways to help blend selection borders is a method called "blurring the mask." But, you have to do your work in layers to do this. IMO, you should be doing most if not all of your adjustments in layers. The control and versatility this offers over non-layer-based editing is considerable.


Keeoeit wonders: Is it just me? Or do others who see an image of building with all perfectly vertical lines as unusual and something just not right about it? I personally would prefer an image with some perspective to the buildings.

I must say that I think that perspectives that deviate very much from what the eye would see when veiwing the original scene are a bit unnatural, but they don't bother me if they're only a little deviant.

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Old Apr 6, 2007, 7:44 AM   #4
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Keoeeit wrote:
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... Is it just me? Or do others who see an image of building with all perfectly vertical lines as unusual and something just not right about it? I personally would prefer an image with some perspective to the buildings. They look so "unnatural" with all perfectly vertical parallel lines otherwise. To me at least. ...
I prefer that buildings look the way they are built: vertical instead of falling over. Extreme perspective distortion can be OK, but a slight amount just doesn't look right to me. Disturbing in the same way that an off level photo is. Sometimes that effect works well, but not often.

Keoeeit wrote:
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... Rule #1 that I learned in digital-editing (from my own self-taught learning process), just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.
I agree except that I would call the number one rule in photography to be that All rules can be broken. Think about what you are doing and never follow any rule blindly
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Old Apr 6, 2007, 5:21 PM   #5
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nice shot and nice perspective, had some beers, had a go at edit , didnt read above posts.....too much writing to read with beer filled eyes

a biasic adjust of levels makes the pic better, but i made a light version a dark version and blended them together and adjusted curves to get it so itl oooked good to me, then duplicated the dark layer and chage mode to vivid light , faded it a bit and the result is above.

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Old Apr 9, 2007, 4:19 AM   #6
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thank everyone who was replied to this post of mine. thanks for your time.


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Old Apr 10, 2007, 11:55 PM   #7
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Has that ever bothered anyone else? In the above photo, I think it would look MUCH better if the buildings tilted inward a bit.
If the search worked on the site I could find several posts where I thought being overly fastidious about perspective corrections isn't always the best approach.

In this case the original needs some perspective correction. When I left a little lean there was a lot of aliasing to deal with because of the small image size. Working with the original I would probably have left a little in. But if it is between the original perspective and the buildings straight up I would go with straight.

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Old Apr 11, 2007, 6:51 AM   #8
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slipe wrote
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... If the search worked on the site I could find several posts where I thought being overly fastidious about perspective corrections isn't always the best approach. ...
Using Google's advanced search restricting the domain search to http://www.stevesforums.com/ works well.
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Old Apr 11, 2007, 11:04 AM   #9
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BillDrew wrote:
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slipe wrote
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... If the search worked on the site I could find several posts where I thought being overly fastidious about perspective corrections isn't always the best approach. ...
Using Google's advanced search restricting the domain search to http://www.stevesforums.com/ works well.
Thanks Bill. I've done that and it does work a lot better than the site search, but I'm usually too lazy.

I've also been too lazy to install a clipboard organizer for commonly used things like stevesforums.com. Commands like[/quote] [/img] (plus the mirror) would be handy too.

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Old Apr 11, 2007, 2:25 PM   #10
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:blah:
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