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Archive 2012 · Suggestions for this bucolic image?
  
 
HiredGoon
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Suggestions for this bucolic image?


I spotted this bucolic scene this afternoon, and pulled over to take a quick snap:







This is the unprocessed image. I'm sure there's a better image struggling to get out, but my photoshop fu is weak. I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for processing to create an interesting image.

Better skies would have been nice, but perhaps the grey colour can be used to create a moody effect?

There's a higher-resolution file available here.



Dec 30, 2012 at 10:20 AM
ben egbert
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Suggestions for this bucolic image?


This does not look unprocessed. My RAW's are way flatter than this. In any event, there is not much I would do to it. It seems to have enough contrast saturation sharpness etc.

I like the scene and light. Its a peaceful scene.



Dec 30, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Suggestions for this bucolic image?


A quick re-work in LR using one of Matt Kozlowski's free pre-sets and minor added tweaks.

It is a lovely image and can likely be taken in many directions. Well seen. And, as is often stated, what really matters is your vision for the image and reaching that point. Wonderful shapes and lines from which to work.

Regards,

Bob







Dec 30, 2012 at 03:52 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Suggestions for this bucolic image?


+ @ Bob ... lots of goodness, with much potential & directional liberty.


Dec 30, 2012 at 06:07 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Suggestions for this bucolic image?


I like the image. One way to go is to add some visual snap by manipulating shadows/highlights, micro contrast and selective areas of brightness. In this illustration I started on the background layer by applying a Shadows/Highlights adjustment to alter overall contrast and brightness then applied the USM (UnSharp Mask) filter at 16, 60, 0 applied twice to boost micro contrast, and the Smart Sharpen filter with small settings to make it more crisp.

The I applied layers to adjust exposure and gamma, dodge cloud highlights and selectively darken and brighten portions of the image and reduced the digital noise in the sky.












Dec 30, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Suggestions for this bucolic image?


Here is my very, very quick stab at it. I spent maybe 2 minutes total on this. It could use a bit more subtle handling of the dodge and burn but that is only worth the additional effort if you like the direction of this processing.

Here are my steps:
Quick select the sky (took two clicks of the selection tool)
Ctrl c, then Ctrl v to duplicate the sky.
Set mode to multiply and opacity to about 50%
Flatten
Ctrl J for a new layer, set to multiply and about 50% opacity
Create a mask and paint on the tree and horse to lighten
Flatten
Use the burn tool and/or dodge tool to create more interesting lighting (This is where some time could be taken to do a good job. I just spent a few seconds on this important step.)
Set overall brightness and/or levels to taste.











Dec 30, 2012 at 08:51 PM
sbeme
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Suggestions for this bucolic image?


Its a beautiful scene, well-composed.
Many possible interpretations. Keeping closest to the original image, I think Karen's re-work makes it pop.
Not much else to add. I will spare you all another entry into the group of fine reworks already illustrated.
Scott



Dec 30, 2012 at 09:35 PM
HiredGoon
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Suggestions for this bucolic image?


ben egbert wrote:
This does not look unprocessed. My RAW's are way flatter than this. In any event, there is not much I would do to it. It seems to have enough contrast saturation sharpness etc.


You are correct. I had imported the image into lightroom, and tried some adjustments. Then I clicked the "reset" button thinking I would get the original image but I notice that clarity,vibrance and saturation were still set at (10,20,20). That's an automatic adjustment I had set in Adobe Bridge, IIRC, and I guess LR has imported that.

I can dial these settings back to zero and re-post the files, if someone asks.



Dec 30, 2012 at 09:41 PM
HiredGoon
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Suggestions for this bucolic image?


Bob Jarman wrote:
A quick re-work in LR using one of Matt Kozlowski's free pre-sets and minor added tweaks.


Thanks for your interpretation, Bob. I was thinking B+W because of the clouds, but I'm yet to create a B+W that adds sufficient drama (mine always appear to lack enough contrast). Yours is close to what I imagined for monochrome.

I'll try the presets that you mention.

Do you mind outlining the other tweaks you made? I'm interested in why they were performed.





Dec 30, 2012 at 09:47 PM
 

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HiredGoon
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Suggestions for this bucolic image?


sbeme wrote:
Its a beautiful scene, well-composed.


Thanks, although I was wondering if someone would suggest cropping the image slightly. This is a hand-held shot, taken from the side of the road. Canon 7D, Canon 70-200 f/4 @ 70mm.

sbeme wrote:
Not much else to add. I will spare you all another entry into the group of fine reworks already illustrated.


I don't mind if you (or anyone else) has a crack at it. It's always interesting to find out what others see given the same basic materials.



Dec 30, 2012 at 09:57 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Suggestions for this bucolic image?


A little bit of cloning ...







Dec 30, 2012 at 09:57 PM
HiredGoon
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Suggestions for this bucolic image?


RustyBug wrote:
A little bit of cloning ...


Yes .. the bushes on the hill directly behind the tree were a distraction. I see you also did some cleanups of the foreground grass but the bushes were what I immediately wanted to remove.



Dec 30, 2012 at 11:05 PM
HiredGoon
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Suggestions for this bucolic image?


AuntiPode wrote:
One way to go is to add some visual snap by manipulating shadows/highlights, micro contrast and selective areas of brightness. In this illustration I started on the background layer by applying a Shadows/Highlights adjustment to alter overall contrast and brightness then applied the USM (UnSharp Mask) filter at 16, 60, 0 applied twice to boost micro contrast, and the Smart Sharpen filter with small settings to make it more crisp.

The I applied layers to adjust exposure and gamma, dodge cloud highlights and selectively darken and brighten portions of the image and reduced the digital noise in the sky.


Thanks for your image, and thanks for the detail on how you did it. It does have a nice pop. I might try reproducing your steps to see how the effects are applied and if I am as successful as you.



Dec 30, 2012 at 11:10 PM
HiredGoon
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Suggestions for this bucolic image?


Camperjim wrote:
Here is my very, very quick stab at it. I spent maybe 2 minutes total on this. It could use a bit more subtle handling of the dodge and burn but that is only worth the additional effort if you like the direction of this processing.


I do like this direction of processing Jim ... thanks for the image. It does add a lot of drama, which seems to be lurking under the surface. I didn't really notice the light hitting the dip in the foreground when I took the shot, but your image (and the B+W image above) show this more clearly. It's something I may work on. Highlighting the tree and the horse accentuates this as well.

It almost looks as if the lightened area is coming from the bright area in the clouds, but you can see by the tree's shadow that this is not the case.

My niece is into horses, and this shot was taken on the road to her house, so I think getting a dramatic image like this would be appreciated by her more than an image that accurately captures the scene (although I will try for such an image as well).

Also thanks for describing your steps. I'm a n00b at photoshop and selecting / layering / burning / dodging are beyond my feeble abilities, but I will try to recreate what you have done and see how it turns out. Hopefully my skills will improve.



Dec 30, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Bob Jarman
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Suggestions for this bucolic image?


HiredGoon wrote:
Thanks for your interpretation, Bob. I was thinking B+W because of the clouds, but I'm yet to create a B+W that adds sufficient drama (mine always appear to lack enough contrast). Yours is close to what I imagined for monochrome.

I'll try the presets that you mention.

Do you mind outlining the other tweaks you made? I'm interested in why they were performed.



Tweaks - sharpening and clarity adjustments to bump contrast slightly.
Panels 1 & 2 are from the first version. Looking again, I expanded tonal range in histogram, used gradient fill on bottom right & left to impart darkened fill, then toned {Balance +60, Shadows (Hue: 45, Saturation 50), Highlights: (0, 0)}. In all I thought the image too dark and the tree needed more prominence and detail.

I should have cleaned up the landscape - shrubs and grasses - at first. Doing so now is, in my expereince, asking for trouble.

Hope this answers your questions,

Bob























Dec 31, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Camperjim
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Suggestions for this bucolic image?


HiredGoon, once you try it a couple of times, you will see that using a duplicate layer set to multiple is a nice way to accomplish dodge and burn. This technique also has the advantage of maintaining nice colors without just darkening or lightening with the burn and dodge tools. You can easily spend a few minutes and get a much more natural appearance than my super quick fix. I overdid the lightening on the horse and got too much of the background sky. You could also lighten a bit more on the left of the image to make it feel like the light was coming more from the right. I also think I overdid the effect, but you did mention moody as a goal.

You can also dodge and burn by setting up a new layer with overlay mode filled with 50% gray. (On a PC use Ctrl-Shift-N to bring up a new layer template, select overlay and check the box for 50% gray.) Paint with a black or a white brush set at about 10%. This works better than the usual burn and dodge tools. You can then easily reverse any mistakes, you can add a big blur to soften the effect and you can cut back on the intensity by cutting back on the opacity of the 50% gray layer.



Dec 31, 2012 at 03:29 AM
HiredGoon
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Suggestions for this bucolic image?


Thanks for all the replies.

It's obvious that I need to practice Lightroom & Photoshop some more because I'm having a hard time getting my images to look half as nice as the ones presented here, even with all the generous instructions. Sigh.

As for where I want to take this image: I'm thinking the cleanup suggested by RustyBug in post #11, with the background moodiness and foreground lighting suggested by CamperJim in post #6. I also like the B+W suggested by Bob in posts #3 and #15.

I was thinking that a tighter crop may be nicer, to get the horse a little larger, although that will lose the sweep of the hill on the right or the shadow of the tree on the left. I took the widest shot on the lens to allow for some cropping, but now I'm not sure if compositionally a crop will work.




Jan 01, 2013 at 12:10 AM





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