Countryside at sunset

Registered: Nov 07, 2010
Total Posts: 392
Country: Italy

Hi, could you help me to improve PP with this picture?

ben egbert
Registered: Jan 31, 2005
Total Posts: 12069
Country: United States

This image appears to have good exposure other than a bit of blown out clouds. I suspect the original is sharp enough, but that's hard to tell because it looks very over sharpened to me. It is also a bit too contrasty.

I am not very good on color so I won't comment there. I would like to see one with less sharpening and contrast. If you used large radius low amount USM, it shows.

Bert DeMars
Registered: Nov 05, 2005
Total Posts: 306
Country: United States

Use the magic wand tool at about tolerance 20, and highlight the entire sky area. Then under Select, click on Inverse and bring up the tonal range of the foreground area in either Image/Adjustments/Brightness/Contrast, or Image/Adjustments/Shadows/Highlights. You can switch back and forth (Select/Inverse) between the sky and foreground areas, making tonal adjustments pleasing to your eye.

Registered: Oct 17, 2011
Total Posts: 3010
Country: United States


What does that mean? PP provides tools to help tell a story, increase impact, create a mood, etc, etc. You need to have a vision of what you want to create and then use the tools to help get there. So why did you press the shutter? Was it the sunset colors, the play of light on the trees, the undulations in the midground hills? Is there are center of interest? What draws in the viewers attention and how do you want the viewer's eye to move through the image?

If you can answer some of those questions, then the PP becomes a means to achieving your vision.

When I look at this image I see lots of issues and possibilities for generating more interest and impact. First I find the tone of the image to be quite flat and dull. It lacks a clear center of interest to capture my attention. The color of the sky seems off and pulls my interest away from the rest of the image. I am not keen about the big expanse of boring hillside in the foreground. I would begin by cropping out some of the sky. I would love to crop out most of the foreground but due to the angle that is not possible. Next I would add some dodge and burn to emphasize the lighting on the trees and midground. I would add a vignette to try to hold the viewer's eye into the scene. Maybe add some color to the building to draw the viewer's attention. You might want to emphasize the undulations in the hillsides. I don't have any memories of this scene and I don't have much of a vision as to what I would want to create. I started with a couple of examples which might help you get started.

Registered: Aug 05, 2008
Total Posts: 8324
Country: New Zealand

I'd suggest adding light/dark changes to add pop and to darken the foreground to guide the eye more strongly to the more interesting portions of the scene. For example:

Registered: Nov 07, 2010
Total Posts: 392
Country: Italy

thanks to all of you for the interesting suggestions!