Remote SW Vista
/forum/topic/1168509/0

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Mark Metternich
Registered: Aug 01, 2005
Total Posts: 7263
Country: United States

After spending a wonderful day scouting this location with Steve P and avoiding getting struck by lightning and stuck by flash floods we scrambled to this vista spot just as the sun was setting. We both found it a jaw dropping location and I really wish we could have stayed there a couple days!

Canon 5D Mark2
Canon 24-105 @ 40
1/20th
f/8 (sharpest for the lens)
100 ISO

Tech info:

Most of the work was finished in Camera Raw 7.2, with typical subtle color correction work and minor touch up in PS CS6. Two images were brought into PS from the same file. One with the Parametric "Lights" slider jacked to 100 for necessary punch (but highlights slightly blown) and one with a subdued "Lights" with some room on the highlight end of the histogram. The images were stacked on top of each other with the bright image on top. "Blend if" sliders were used to easily fix the highlights (splitting the left side of the light slider to about 100 and the right side to about 245). After that a composite layer was made (ctrl/alt/shift/E). Lastly the composite layer was put under the Bright Layer (with the blown highlights) and I simply erased the blown highlights locally with a soft erasure brush. I believe the "Blend If" sliders, when used carefully are one of the least used, most under exploited, best and easiest ways to deal with dynamic range issues in Photoshop. Instead of complicated masking (and I have used and taught every technique over the years) they seem to be all I need these days for quick and easy dynamic range blending. Check them out if you get the chance (Layer/Layer Style/Blending Options/Blend If - Top One)!



Mark Metternich
Registered: Aug 01, 2005
Total Posts: 7263
Country: United States

No joke, here was the in camera JPEG before any adjusting...



philtax
Registered: Dec 23, 2004
Total Posts: 3057
Country: United States

HI Mark,

What an amazing transformation you've achieved here. To me it seems just this side of too much and I quite like it. The detail is remarkable and I appreciate your step by step instructions.

Phil



slobodan
Registered: Sep 25, 2004
Total Posts: 644
Country: United States

Mark, impressive!

A quick question: was that post-nuclear green patch of sky (upper left corner) intentional?



Mark Metternich
Registered: Aug 01, 2005
Total Posts: 7263
Country: United States

slobodan wrote:
Mark, impressive!

A quick question: was that post-nuclear green patch of sky (upper left corner) intentional?


Thank you. No. With the global white balance chosen, there was a slight tint in the file there. Although not my favorite color tint I just decided to leave it, but I could see some more correction work there. Thank you for pointing it out.



slobodan
Registered: Sep 25, 2004
Total Posts: 644
Country: United States

Mark Metternich wrote:
... With the global white balance chosen...


That's the same dilemma I often face when hand-blending sunset/sunrise exposures: find one global white balance that represents the best average of what works for highlights and what works for shadows, or go for a split white balance: one for highlights (usually warmer) and another for shadows (usually cooler, bluer). I ofter opt for the latter approach.



Mark Metternich
Registered: Aug 01, 2005
Total Posts: 7263
Country: United States

slobodan wrote:
Mark Metternich wrote:
... With the global white balance chosen...


That's the same dilemma I often face when hand-blending sunset/sunrise exposures: find one global white balance that represents the best average of what works for highlights and what works for shadows, or go for a split white balance: one for highlights (usually warmer) and another for shadows (usually cooler, bluer). I ofter opt for the latter approach.


Yes. Usually I would create a separate layer under the master layer and go to "Color Balance" in PS (maybe in color mode) and correct the tint (through the mid-tones, shadows and highlights) and then erase in (or mask for those who use a lot of masks) manually/locally by using a soft brush on the top layer. Pretty easy fix. I think I was just slightly lazy and kind of OK with it here. I will definitely do a little more color correction there on the print. I very appreciate the feedback.



gdanmitchell
Registered: Jun 28, 2009
Total Posts: 9477
Country: United States

Thanks for reminding me that I need to take a look at "blend if." I briefly saw it a year or two ago, marked in mentally as something to look into... and then never did. ;-)

Dan



Fred Miranda
Registered: Dec 31, 2001
Total Posts: 17900
Country: United States

Love everything about the image Mark.
Composition, light and post. You nailed it.
Best,
Fred



Mark Metternich
Registered: Aug 01, 2005
Total Posts: 7263
Country: United States

gdanmitchell wrote:
Thanks for reminding me that I need to take a look at "blend if." I briefly saw it a year or two ago, marked in mentally as something to look into... and then never did. ;-)

Dan


No problem Dan. If you Facebook I am posting a tutorial there soon. Here is what I just said to someone asking about the technique:

"There are so many techniques for blending and I believe this one, for the most part, renders them unnecessary. I like things simple and with the "Blend If' sliders, that is what you get. Simple and powerful at the same time. No more loads of layers and layer masks. Last week I showed someone via Skype (big name guy on the forums who is advanced in his skills) and he said: 'Wow, that is going to save me hours!' If one wants to use complicated masking, that is fine, but honestly I rarely see the need anymore."



gregfountain
Registered: Jun 21, 2009
Total Posts: 6644
Country: United States

Amazing transformation! Super shot!



JimFox
Registered: Jan 11, 2005
Total Posts: 37958
Country: United States

Hey Mark,

A cool shot, nice work on it. The processing looks good, and yeah the Blend-If is something I need to check out a bit more. This looks very much like it was in the Coal Mine Canyon area.

Jim



Scott Kroeker
Registered: Jan 10, 2008
Total Posts: 3854
Country: Canada

Beautiful view!



ckcarr
Registered: Dec 02, 2006
Total Posts: 6013
Country: United States

Mark,
Definitely one of the most amazing views I've seen in a while!
Stupendous shot.

Great tutoring also!



gdanmitchell
Registered: Jun 28, 2009
Total Posts: 9477
Country: United States

Mark Metternich wrote:
gdanmitchell wrote:
Thanks for reminding me that I need to take a look at "blend if." I briefly saw it a year or two ago, marked in mentally as something to look into... and then never did. ;-)

Dan


No problem Dan. If you Facebook I am posting a tutorial there soon. Here is what I just said to someone asking about the technique:

"There are so many techniques for blending and I believe this one, for the most part, renders them unnecessary. I like things simple and with the "Blend If' sliders, that is what you get. Simple and powerful at the same time. No more loads of layers and layer masks. Last week I showed someone via Skype (big name guy on the forums who is advanced in his skills) and he said: 'Wow, that is going to save me hours!' If one wants to use complicated masking, that is fine, but honestly I rarely see the need anymore."


Hey, just took a look at it and the concept seems pretty straightforward. Looks like it can work well in some situations, though I'll have to play with it more to get my mind completely around it. Probably won't replace the manual blending that I do, but good to this trick in the bag.

And... I was pleased to find that it works with smart layers since I virtually always work with them.

Thanks,

Dan



Justin Grimm
Registered: Jan 12, 2011
Total Posts: 1199
Country: Canada

I absolutely love your transparency Mark. Nothing held back and no secrets to hide. That is the sign of someone who is truly confident in their work.

If only more pros would take the time to post untouched raw files. It might give more people the inspiration to look past the boring shades of grey prior to processing and see what hidden colours can be brought out. Im off to go look through some old files now Thanks!



lukeb
Registered: Nov 13, 2010
Total Posts: 1859
Country: United States

Absolutely stunning!



Mark Metternich
Registered: Aug 01, 2005
Total Posts: 7263
Country: United States

Thank you everyone. A more extensive tutorial here on FM is coming soon.



Mark Metternich
Registered: Aug 01, 2005
Total Posts: 7263
Country: United States

Looks like it can work well in some situations, though I'll have to play with it more to get my mind completely around it. Probably won't replace the manual blending that I do, but good to this trick in the bag.

You could use it that way, but I believe it has the ability to revolutionize the way many nature/landscape photographers blend for dynamic range altogether. It is advanced blending for dynamic range, but MADE EASY.



M.P.R.
Registered: Oct 16, 2012
Total Posts: 199
Country: United States

Gorgeous image! Wow, that is one hell of a before and after.

Frank



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