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[C&C] Asking for help -- going for the grandeur of the skies . . . feel free to mess with the images

Discussion in 'Photo Critique' started by Jock Elliott, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    An amazing cloud front was passing through yesterday. I attempted to capture the staggering grandeur of it all, but I am not satisfied with the results. Any suggestions -- including "take up knitting" -- gladly accepted.

    I have two examples, I'll present the original, followed by my own post-processing attempts. Shot with FZ200.

    Example A:

    FZ200_clouds_008_Medium_.JPG

    FZ200_clouds_008_DxO_Medium_.

    FZ200_clouds_008_DxO-1_Medium_.

    Example B:

    FZ200_clouds_001_Medium_.JPG

    FZ200_clouds_001_DxO_Medium_.

    FZ200_clouds_001_DxO_DxO_Medium_.

    FZ200_clouds_001_DxO_DxO-1_Medium_.

    Cheers, Jock
     
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  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Jock, I occasionally am so amazed at the clouds that I feel I need to shoot them. I am never satisfied that I was able to capture the magnificence seen in person. I also think that sometimes our mood at the time of capture informs our dissatisfaction with the end result.

    Take up knitting only if it inspires you as much as photography clearly does.
     
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  3. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Jock, which software do you use to post process?
     
  4. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    DXO Optics Pro 9. These were shot originally in jpeg.

    Cheers, Jock
     
  5. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    OK..... here's my 2 takes on your first cloudscape.
    The first is pretty "straight"....just trying to bring out more detail and midtones in the clouds. At first, I made it way too dramatic, so I layered it and set the opacity at 30% to allow the original to bleed through and tone it down.
    FZ200_clouds_008_Medium_ by Luke Lavin, on Flickr

    Then I dragged it into the picmonkey and decided to have a little fun with it (I think clouds lend themselves to flights of fancy).

    14271974309_dbf1878e24_b. FZ200_clouds_008_Medium_dreamy by Luke Lavin, on Flickr
     
  6. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Luke,

    Wiow, I like them both. The first because it brings out more detail (I think) and second because it's just crazy dramatic . . . in fact, it almost looks like a painting.

    Thanks!

    What software did you use on the first?

    Cheers, Jock
     
  7. demiro

    demiro Serious Compacts For Life

    527
    Dec 15, 2011
    no way I'm going to arrive at "grandeur" with my PP skills, but here is a take on it:

    [​IMG]

    Just used clarity and sharpness sliders at first, then played with tones, then reduced noise to give the clouds that milky/smoky appearance.
     
  8. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
     
  9. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY

    I don't see the picture . . .

    Cheers, Jock
     
  10. demiro

    demiro Serious Compacts For Life

    527
    Dec 15, 2011
    Weird. I see it on Chrome on my PC, but not on my iPad with Safari. Image is linked from Dropbox. Not sure how to fix that one...
     
  11. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I am also not seeing it on using my Windows machine and Firefox
     
  12. demiro

    demiro Serious Compacts For Life

    527
    Dec 15, 2011
    Well, the obvious fix is to upload directly:

    clouds1.
     
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  13. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Neat! It has kind of a gauzy effect.

    Cheers, Jock
     
  14. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Jock, I don't know anything about the software you use...I'm sorry to say. My personal recommendation is to go with Lightroom and learn the basics...and then you can add in Silver Efex Pro and Color Efex Pro down the line... They're excellent, but everyone here has their own personal favorites. (Truth be told, for the last year I have almost exclusively been using Snapseed to PP my iPhone photos and find it quite capable.) All of these softwares take time and patience...but the basics on LR such as clarity, vibrance, the curves (sliders for highlights, shadows, mid tones...etc.) are great... Post processing is such an individual take.
     
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