The morning after the rain

This is my first try at editing the DNGs out of my S20FE phone. I usually shot JPG-only with it, but this time I thought I could get something much better than the Samsung edit by merging multiple exposures by hand (and then I forgot to take the single JPG image to compare :man_facepalming:).

It’s de result of 4 DNGs combined automatically with HDRMerge, and then developed with darktable. I’d like to hear your opinions specially on:

  • composition/crop
  • (non-)HDR look and how believable is the tone distribution (in real life there were some 4EV between the house wall and bright area in the clouds)
  • color cast of the foreground (I wanted to avoid a gray/blue look, and went for a more wet/yellow feeling there)

And anything else you want to comment, of course…

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If you wanted the not HDR look, I think you’ve achieved that. Some of the clouds closest to the foreground are tending towards, but aren’t there yet, in terms of HDR.

I like this, its a very warm, aged print/retro film sort of look to it.

I like the feeling of stillness in the foreground, contrasted with storm clouds in the mid ground and light on the horizon.

The window to the far right of the frame feels slightly too close to the edge. I am guilty of this often too. It might have been interesting to line the phone pole up with the middle of the tree, so you’d need to rotate around your scene counter clockwise a little bit.

Is the phone poll completely vertical? It feels just slightly off to me.

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Yes, I was trying to get some of those dramatic clouds people associate with the HDR look, but without looking so unreal. ‘Close-to but not HDR-looking’ is perfect for me :slight_smile:

This is one of the points I really need to work on. Invariably in post processing I keep finding things inside the frame that I should not have included, or things too close to the edge without enough space. In this case I was focusing on getting the fence and the house at the place I wanted them in the frame, and totally missed the position of the window.

I’m not so sure about this. For me it would look a bit strange, as if the pole was the trunk of the tree.

I had to pixel-peep to check it, because it also looks like that to me. But if there is a deviation, it’s just a couple of pixels. I think that sensation comes from the shape of the tree behind, much wider at the bottom left of the pole. The perspective of the wide phone lens must also influence.

Thanks for the comments!

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My thought on the matter, including your vantage point. Often, unrelated to photography, I move around to get a better grasp of what I am seeing in 3D (using parallax, etc.). Usually, things make more sense after that. Lastly, poles, especially those made of wood, aren’t perfectly planted or shaped. Some sort of deformation is bound to happen later on as well.

Beside the general deformation of the frame, the one thing that annoyed me a bit was the slight halo around where the tree meets the sky. I see it in the preview and when zoomed 100%. My eyes are tired from viewing the monitor all day, so maybe I am seeing things. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Once you see it you can’t un-see it, no? Thanks for pointing this out, I had the same impression but I was not sure if it was an illusion. I’m boosting the exposure with a mask on the foreground, and that is bound to have problems in a shape so complex even with a wide feathering radius. I re-edited moving the mask a bit inward, and I think the halo effect is more subtle now, specially down in the lake:

Nevertheless I don’t think you can completely remove the halo, part of it seems to be just an illusion of dark-complex-shape in front of flat-grey-background (I checked and it’s still visible even in the non-boosted image)