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Old Dec 21, 2005, 6:05 AM   #1
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Without comment - eager for your thoughts...
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Old Dec 21, 2005, 6:32 AM   #2
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I enjoy the rolling hills effect you have used here, I think the shot could use a bit of a contrast boost - it almost looks as if the BW conversion has been done mostly from the blue channel.

Btw - is this God's window in Mpumulanga? I was born in Sabie and lived in the old Eastern Transvaal quite awhile before making the trek to Eastern Cape. I would love to go back there and so some landscape shooting sometime.
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Old Dec 21, 2005, 10:55 AM   #3
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i like the layered look.. and the diagnal orientation of the rock formations.. i disagree with the contrast, i dont necessarily think all mono images have to be a contrast competitions.. some work because of the subtle layers of soft tones like this image.. i think you would lose the whole look with a contrast boost.. i like it..

dustin
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Old Dec 21, 2005, 11:54 PM   #4
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And the mystery presence somewhere there. But the contrast, can you work on this?
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 3:05 AM   #5
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Yes this was God's Window in Mpumalanga.

I absolutely loved this scene when I saw it through the viewfinder, but despite quite a lot of PS work was somewhat disappointed in the results.

There was a lot of haze, and the far mountains are FAR away.

The conversion to mono was 10%R, 80%G, 10%B. I also did curves, levels, contrast adjustments, a lot of sharpening and some subtle solarization. This version shows a lot more all-round detail than was first evident in the RAW file.

I don't think anything more can be done with the contrast without losing significant detail at one end or the other.

I've attached a jpg of the levels - can anyone think how I can boost the contrast without losing the detail of either the very faint far mountains or the dark near mountain?

But my biggest problem I think is the composition, it seems quite nice - the diagonals and the layers and the range of tones works I think, but it seems to be lacking a focal point, that's why I dedided to get the crispest exposure and sharpening to give some detail in the main layer - to give the eye something to settle on. But I'm still not sure it really works.

I'm encouraged that you like it though Dustin, thanks.
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 3:18 AM   #6
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There is quite a bit you could do in Raw mode if you have taken it in Raw.

Try the following techniques, they adjust midtone contrast without affecting shadows or highlights.

1. Unsharp mask, amount 15, radius 60, threshhold 0

2. S-curve - the attached picture shows one to boost local contrast, reverse this to reduct contrast(ie, you may want to darken dark tones and recover details in the highlights).

3. You could try the shadow/highlight tool to alter the tones, it may help.

Have a great Christmas!
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 3:22 AM   #7
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Just did a 30sec edit using the first two techniques. I'm at work on an uncalibrated monitor, so forgive me if it looks terrible.
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 4:20 AM   #8
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Wow really like that Shadow/Highlight tool.

New version...
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 4:33 AM   #9
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Its alot better but...

Just a warning with the shadow/highlight tool, use a high radius to prevent those fuzzy edges.

http://www.thelightsrightstudio.comgives an excellent tutorial on the use of this tool.
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 10:16 AM   #10
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OK, here's another version started from scratch.

Still a slight halo on the dark edge right, but not bad overall.

It certainly "pops" a lot more, but I'm not sure I prefer it to the original. I'll have to try some prints and see.

The composition question hopefully will be clearer now. Does it work?
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