Less a challenge and more of “help me learn”. I shoot landscapes + architecture and edit to get a high contrast look with selectively saturated colors, but most of the photographs I view and enjoy are actually not like this and more realistic. Composition aside, I have no idea how to describe the way these photos are edited in post so after spending this weekend searching I found tutorials on every editing technique aside from this.
The closest name I could give it would be the look of many daylight shots of the “new topographic movement” and often seen in the Subjectively Objective books. Found commonly in landscape and architecture, but very distinct from the touched up perfection of real estate photography and architectural projections and dramatic colors and contrasts of typical landscape photography.
You can see some examples to illustrate better than I can describe:
Val Timmermans: https://www.instagram.com/p/CRzaFWTLEE8/
Sandy Valley Road, Sandy Valley, Nevada. August 28, 2021 by Paul Frederiksen, on Flickr
Obviously, some of these are film. First impression is that these shots are nearly unedited but actually seem pretty tuned. They are overall very bright even in the shadows, but with nothing overexposed and crisp definition of details. The colors are muted but well defined, often with a emphasis on pastels.
Every time I try this, it seems simple but I have a hard time balancing between overexposure and a grey or white cast over the whole image. It ends up not realistic at all. I am wondering what you talented folks could do.
BTW, I am using DT 3.6 and sticking to scene referred workflow, so avoiding tone curves and shadow-highlight module. I am still trying to master filmic rgb and tone equalizer.
I have 3 different scenes in RAW (CC-0), at least one of them might speak to you.
Lastly, here is a jpeg of an old edit of one (done on dt.3.2)
that I realized was so grey and ugly. I have a real problem with my overcast featureless skys looking an unnatural grey color.