anatomy of a photo

Exposed for sky with intention of bringing up shadows. The golden hue while accurate didnt appeal. Figured see what could be done with b&w.
General housekeeping
crop to bushes bottom L & R to give natural vignette & make river & sky roughly equal size
selectively darken hedges to give a light dark pattern through the image
darken sky
darken hotspot
enhance light rays. Wanted to put one over the turbine but not too symmetrical
Could be brightened a bit more but that brings in a ton of noise
Brought into gimp and blitzed the v twigs. ( i know, I know - if its in the scene leave it be. But they’re really fugly, sorry, really dont help)

So whatcha think? Hit? Miss? Think you could do better? Actually no, just do different…

23-11-15_MG_6532.CR2 (19.4 MB)
23-11-15_MG_6532.CR2.xmp (24.4 KB)

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Thanks for posting!

23-11-15_MG_6532.CR2.xmp (9.8 KB)


Slightly different


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I tried to keep the colors close to the original and retain the detail in the lower part of the sky. dt 4.4.2

23-11-15_MG_6532.CR2.xmp (9.9 KB)


My version…

23-11-15_MG_6532.CR2.xmp (14.4 KB)


23-11-15_MG_6532.CR2.xmp (13.3 KB)

I got a real Tony Scott Tobacco filter vibe from this one, so gave it the CinemaScope crop to match.

I’ll just offer my 2c on this, but unless you’re shooting for a newspaper or doing product photography or something, no final image owes anything to the “reality” of the scene whenever and wherever the photograph was taken. Once the RAW files on your hard drive you work with the reality of what was captured on the sensor and nothing else.

To offer another 2c I think you’ve tried to stretch the image too far in your rendering. For me there’s not enough information in the foreground to try and bring it up, and even if there was there’s not enough contrast between those foreground layers to provide “enough” visual interest. I like how much detail you’ve extracted in the brightest parts of the clouds, but overall I think they lack contrast. In black and white especially contrast is everything.

If you want to make an image like that in the future it would have to be achieved through a different exposure in camera. Bracketing is an easy way to capture the information in the field, but personally I don’t like dealing with all that in post. Graduated density filters are still an irreplaceable piece of equipment in the landscape photographers kit!

23-11-15_MG_6532_01.CR2.xmp (13.4 KB)

I’m not being blown away by my black and white rendering or anything either, but I thought I’d have a quick go seeing as no one else has yet!

Thanks for sharing.


Tool late here for a full job, but I would try the sky of @priort’s 2nd on @jimd’s monochrome planes:


darktable 4.5.0+1219~geb2d8420a

23-11-15_MG_6532.CR2.xmp (7.7 KB)


I was in a rush and just trying to come up with something… I didn’t… But you did… very neat idea…

Quick play in GIMP, just to see what I could pull out of the image.


I’ve tried a contrasty B&W. Sorry about the sloppy clone / heal job. Also, I don’t think I was able to do anything about the sun rays.
23-11-15_MG_6532_01.CR2.xmp (35.3 KB)


That second one instantly reminded me of Apocalypse Now, the tones are spot on. Or at least spot on to my memory of it.


My attempt:

23-11-15_MG_6532.CR2.xmp (18.0 KB)


Here my intepretation.

23-11-15_MG_6532.CR2.xmp (10.6 KB)

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23-11-15_MG_6532.CR2.xmp (12.2 KB)


well I did say different. Havent seen a sky so orange since that glorious day in july…

I have a further interpretation. What about some cheating :innocent::

23-11-15_MG_6532.CR2.xmp (25.5 KB)

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Its on steroids for sure :blush:

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ART 1.20.1

I started from a point of “what did it look like in person”, then proceeded to tweak. Then again, I wasn’t there, so what do I know? :slight_smile:

I blued-up the foreground mist / haze a bit and even a little bit less in the upper cloud (plus a little desat). I adjusted shadow and mids in the foreground only to get a little more separation. I then played with WB to get a (presumably) more natural “direct-into-the-low-western-sun” haze. Also a slight vignette.

The 16:9 crop seemed to fit the subject matter and IMO the lighter strip at the very bottom was a distraction from the main subject.

23-11-15_MG_6532.CR2.arp (14.0 KB)