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Archive 2012 · Muley point - help with processing
  
 
Camperjim
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Muley point - help with processing


The view at Muley point is spectacular with deep canyons of the San Juan river in the foreground and Monument Valley in the distant background. I have been fortunate to shoot sunrise, sunset and daytime images. All were spectacular in person but I seem to have a great deal of difficulty processing any of them. I am posting a straight out of camera image and an hdr and my attempt to process the hdr. The hdr did not seem necessary but due to past issues I thought I would give it a try. Any help and suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks, Jim





SOOC

  Canon EOS REBEL T3i    EF-S15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens    50mm    f/11.0    1/160s    400 ISO    0.0 EV  







Photomatix HDR with no further processing







Attempt to process from HDR version




Dec 22, 2012 at 04:41 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Muley point - help with processing


Took a stab at it ... sky and colors need help yet, but you get the gist.

I think I applied USM @ around 400, 40, 4 to get things going ... after that, it's mostly S&P to taste and masking stuff.

It's a little coarse yet (maybe 350, 35, 10 might be a less aggressive start), but it at least lets you know "it's in there". Having such low contrast to start with makes me tend to be more aggressive than "normal" at the front end.







Dec 22, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Mister Bean
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Muley point - help with processing


It's kind of a hard one to work with. I'm undecided on the yellow, but left it in for balance.








Dec 22, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Muley point - help with processing


Kent, MrB: thanks. I do think Kent got closer to what I am trying to reach. I have never tried USM settings anywhere near that aggressive. Usually I am at 100-150/0.5/0 for sharpening and 18/50/0 for haze busting. I will definitely try cranking up the settings.


Dec 22, 2012 at 07:25 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Muley point - help with processing


I prefer Mr B land and Kent's sky. I have it downloaded and will give it a shot myself.








Dec 22, 2012 at 07:45 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Muley point - help with processing


Round 2 ... although I think it would be a "labor of love" to get this one where you really want it. Hopefully, working from the RAW (16 or 32 bit) might make things go better with such aggressive calculations.







Dec 22, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Oregon Gal
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Muley point - help with processing


Jim, unfortunately it is difficult image to process. I used many, many layers and processing techniques to come up with this re-work. My goal was to improve upon the original while trying to keep it as natural looking as possible. You have options with processing and this is only one of the many processing options.







Dec 23, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Camperjim
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Muley point - help with processing


Oregon Gal wrote:
Jim, unfortunately it is difficult image to process. ...

I certainly agree. I have images from early and late in the day with all sorts of clouds and weather conditions taken on several different visits over the past few years. None seem to process easily and I have no idea why. The image I posted does not even have a dynamic range isssue. Even an HDR does not help. I think part of the issue is the terrain itself. There is not much color present just lots of black and whites which seem to turn gritty as soon as I try to sharpen or add contrast. It is definitely an area that is spectacular in person but does not photograph well.

Rather than try and try on this image, I am running through a bunch of similar images hoping I get lucky or figure out a better processing approach. Thanks to all of you who have worked on this. At least you have better versions than I achieved. If I find some images that turn out reasonably well, I will post a couple of them.



Dec 23, 2012 at 12:58 AM
 

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ben egbert
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Muley point - help with processing


I think the primary issue here is atmospheric haze. It cuts contrast and does indeed provide a low DR image. The river canyon is not bad, but when you attempt to do something with Monument Valley, there is just too much haze.



Dec 23, 2012 at 01:04 AM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Muley point - help with processing


So many possible renditions. Two more:












Dec 23, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Camperjim
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Muley point - help with processing


I have quite a few more images that I plan on processing. Here are three more that I think came out better than the first one I posted. Fortunately I have plenty of raw material to work with. I am finding that even subtle changes in the lighting can make processing for this scene either much more difficult or easier. Anyway, with some of the pointers you folks have given me, I think I am heading in the right direction.





3373







3384







3394




Dec 23, 2012 at 03:25 AM
ben egbert
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Muley point - help with processing


3373 is my favorite here, I always expect to see red in this country. The side light helps as well. I like it.

You are too far away from MV for it to be a primary subject Its the foreground that is primary. I do like MV included however, but for processing purposes, it does not need to be developed as highly as the foreground and certainly not to its detriment.



Dec 23, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Muley point - help with processing


We seem to be attracted to red like moths towards a flame. I think that is one of the issues with this area. The light in the last image is still very early morning but less red. The foreground more accurately reflects the natural colors....which are none too attractive. The colors are mostly light yellow, white, black and greenish hues. Even worse with sharpening or contrast enhancement, the image takes on a gritty and grainy appearance. The only solution seems to be a very early sunrise or late sunset shot. I had a nice sunrise on the day these images were shot but there were clouds and the light came and went. #3373 and a few images taken about the same time are the only ones likely to work well.


Dec 23, 2012 at 04:02 PM
gneto
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Muley point - help with processing


Took a try at it. Couldn't avoid the extreme grain, perhaps because I'm working from a low-res jpeg?











Dec 23, 2012 at 06:34 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Muley point - help with processing


A few tweaks ... i.e. S&P to taste.







Dec 24, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Greg Campbell
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Muley point - help with processing


Camperjim wrote:
I have quite a few more images that I plan on processing. Here are three more that I think came out better than the first one I posted. Fortunately I have plenty of raw material to work with. I am finding that even subtle changes in the lighting can make processing for this scene either much more difficult or easier. Anyway, with some of the pointers you folks have given me, I think I am heading in the right direction.


I think you've found your answer.

This thread's original images is, IMO, a 'no hoper' that was never going to look good. Too much haze, flat lighting, and no real subject or compositional theme.

In my experience, if an image doesn't start to 'pop' after 20 seconds of PP (adjusting the black and white points, rough crop of any dead space) it's never gong to amount to much. HDR, 'Scotty, I need more saturation!,' and other PP thrashing seldom help. When this happens (I'm all too familiar with the sinking sensation!), I give it some though, make some mental notes, and move on to the next file.



Dec 27, 2012 at 05:33 PM





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