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Old 06-23-2021, 01:31 PM   #11
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KevinM's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 2,185

Rut ro.......

I hate to pile on, but I have to agree that the second version definitely did not help your cause. I would put this picture aside. Further submissions might get you banned.

A couple of questions:

Can you provide some details about how you made the adjustments that produced the second version? What did you start with, what software did you use and what sort of adjustments did you make?

Also, are you actively using a histogram when making adjustments and what sort of display are you using to judge the image?

With regard to my first question, the second version of the image almost looks as if the adjustments were made to a JPEG file vs. raw. Taking an overexposed JPEG and applying significant highlights adjustments to it virtually always results in clouds that look bizarre. That's what this looks like. Always go back to the raw, bring the exposure down for starters, then apply highlights (slowly and carefully!)

With regard to my second questions, the use of a histogram would immediately tell you when you have overexposed highlights, regardless of how good or how bad your display is. If you don't have a calibrated display, consider the use of a histogram as mandatory, or you may have a lot of bad days with RP.

Generally speaking, if you don't have a really good display, you may want to try viewing the finished images on an IPAD or a decent cell phone, as long as the screen brightness has not been adjusted too much. While those are not calibrated displays, they will give you a pretty good idea of what the image looks like to most viewers and if you don't really like what you see, don't submit it. When I saw the second version this AM over breakfast, I was looking at it on an IPAD and the cloud and color issues were immediately obvious.

One last thing..... I use Lightroom for most of my editing. I am not a fan of Adobe's "for-life subscription" plan, so I purchased the last version of Lightroom I could own myself. At some point, I may move to another, 3rd party platform. I like Lightroom because I don't ever have to SAVE, therefore permanently locking in any adjustments. Lightroom allows me to make adjustments and see the results without ever altering the original raw. Once I like what I have, I can output whatever format I need, such as a JPEG for RP. If I am up late some night, working on a difficult image, I can put it down and pick up right where I left off the next morning, still with full flexibility to back out adjustments I made the night before....and with a complete record of EVERYTHING I did. With PS, you have to SAVE at bedtime, thus locking in whatever you have done so far......and with no record of your adjustments, unless you wrote everything down on paper.

My RP stuff is here.

Link to my Flickr Albums. Albums from Steam Railroads all over the US.
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