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photogeek88
08-29-2006, 10:46 PM
Well, I've spent my free time of the last couple of days pondering over how and what to do to edit this photo. It is an angle I've never attempted at Nelson, IL, and it seems to be a good idea. Most of the reason I shot it this way was because of the way the signal bridge looked with the sunset-lit sky behind it. But the trouble falls to the train itself. My problem is that if the sky is properly exposed, the train is underexposed, and if the train is properly exposed in Photoshop, the sky is white with a few light yellow spots. I tried that Shadows/Highlight tool out of curiosity, but the result looks horrible (Attempt 1.) So, what can one do where two different parts of a picture have different exposure levels that are correct? Is there any way in Photoshop that anyone knows of to make this photo salvageable? If so, then there's probably plenty of good shots in my files that I could pull out and rework! Thanks!

(Included is the original, with only Auto Levels, normal contrast, and slight saturation applied, applicable to the sky.)

Switched out
08-30-2006, 02:20 AM
The Shadows/Highlight tool is the place to start but the trick is not to over do it. In the image below I had used the Shadows slider to bring up the shadows but I also used the Highlight slider to darken the sky. You will need to tick the box that says 'Show more Options'. The other slider you see there is the 'tonal width adjustment', you will need to have a play with that as well as the defaults are set to powerful and you have to back them off.

Further down is an area that Adobe called 'Adjustments' the slider to adjust there is the 'Color correction' You will generally have to back that off has it tends to over correct the color in the shadows and makes them look a little strange. Finaly the 'Mid-tone Contrast' may need a tweak but be careful as it can make the image look flat.

Additional work is then selectively enhancing the color to bring out the color in the sky even more.

Cheers,

Christine.

Cyclonetrain
08-30-2006, 04:27 AM
^Same technique as above, however I think mine is somewhat better :p

rpalmer
08-30-2006, 02:07 PM
The Shadows/Highlight tool is the place to start but the trick is not to over do it.


A good bit of advice that MANY of the contributors to this site need to read !

Wade H. Massie
08-30-2006, 03:53 PM
Another fix for this photo would be the use of a graduated neutral density filter. Nature photographers use these often, they allow you to capture shadow detail in the foreground without blowing out the sky.

ccaranna
08-30-2006, 03:54 PM
Here I come, Mr. Negativity...

I think Christine's photoshopped examples she has posted in many of these rejection threads are very helpful, and it is definitely nice work, but I'm not sure they would still be accepted here even with their vast improvements.

I personally would like to see more dusk shots accepted, (and I would definitely accept her work) but what it comes down to is that if the train is the major point of focus (i.e. a 3/4 wedge, telemash, or any traditional view) it almost always has to be in well-lit conditions and with light that has at least some intensity or it will get rejected for too dark or underexposed.

There are recent examples where I may be wrong, but they are few and far between, and they probably contain a certain "je ne sais quoi" that caught the screeners fancy.

Ween
08-30-2006, 07:51 PM
Another fix for this photo would be the use of a graduated neutral density filter. Nature photographers use these often, they allow you to capture shadow detail in the foreground without blowing out the sky.

There's a way to simulate this in PS, but I tried once and it didn't work. Anyone got any info on how?

a231pacific
09-02-2006, 07:28 PM
Try this:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/digital-blending.shtml

This is a step by step tutorial and it works. I've used it with good results.

There are a number of other useful tutorials on this site as well.

Michael Allen

Ween
09-02-2006, 08:00 PM
Michael,

Thanks for the link!. I do have a sunset sunflower shot I can try this on as I bracketed it, but the way I was thinking of involved using just one image and doing some type of gradient deal to darken the top of the image (i.e. the sky) and gradually have it lighten as you go down the image...

a231pacific
09-02-2006, 08:22 PM
Actually this technique works even if you only have one shot. Make one layer as dark as you want the basic shot to be, then make the other layer as light as you need to get the dark areas up to the level you want, then you use the gradient mask to blend between the two. Depending on the length of the gradient stroke and where you put it on the picture, you can blend top to bottom, or just in the middle, as you would between the sky and the earth. You can even blend on the diagonal. You'll need to fool around a bit, but what I wound up doing was leaving the Luminous Landscape tutorial open on half my screen and photo shop on the other half. Then I was able to go step by step. It's pretty cool when you get it to work the first time.

Michael

John West
09-02-2006, 09:14 PM
As usual Christine hits the nail on the head. The tutorial that Michael recommends is good, I learned a bunch from it. But the stuff Christine does is also a great tutorial.

John West