I don’t get sick very often, but when I do, it lasts sooooooooooooooooooooo long, as if it’s trying to make up for all the other times that I should have gotten sick but didn’t.
While I’ve been sick, I haven’t been able to add much to my photograph collection but I have had time to catalog a lot of pictures and post-process them in Photoshop CC.
I came across a picture late last night that was begging for me to have some fun applying various filters to it, especially since the picture’s focus was, as photographers say, soft.
I never throw such pictures away because the technology in today’s photo editing programs is just too powerful. With a little effort one can make something beautiful out of something so-so.
Here’s the original picture as it came out of the camera:
I think it has great composition, taking full advantage of the rule of thirds, but, along with the soft focus and lack of detail, it’s kind of flat and lacking contrast, especially for a landscape picture. Dull, boring, and uninteresting…. blah….
I did my initial post-processing in Adobe Camera Raw, as I always do, and got this:
Much better contrast and colors, especially in the sky and tree. However, after doing that, I decided that I wanted more from that purple mountain majesty in the left third of the picture, and possibly even from the other mountains.
I took the second picture to the Topaz Adjust plugin for Photoshop and started applying filters to it to see if I could get something more significant in that purple mountain majesty. Here are the ones I liked:
Topaz Adjust classic collection detail medium filter
Topaz Adjust classic collection photo pop filter
Topaz Adjust HDR collection dynamic brightness filter
Topaz Adjust vibrant collection bold filter
Topaz Adjust vibrant collection clarity filter
Topaz Adjust vibrant collection crisp filter
Topaz Adjust vibrant collection detail strong II filter
Topaz Adjust vibrant collection dramatic filter
Topaz Adjust vibrant collection gritty I filter
Topaz Adjust vibrant collection neutralizer filter
Topaz Adjust vibrant collection portrait drama filter
I liked the detail in the mountains using the Vibrant Collection Gritty I filter best (third picture from the bottom). However, when I selected the mountains and then applied the Gritty I filter to them, they looked out of place with the rest of the picture. I needed detail but more purple mountains majesty. Next I chose the Vibrant Collection Bold filter, and I liked what it gave me. Here’s my final rendition:
The last picture, then, is a three-selection composite:
I first selected the marsh and the tree and applied the Topaz Adjust Classic Collection Detail Medium filter to them. That increased the contrast and detail. Next, I decreased the yellows just a smidgeon. My lens, a Tamron 28-300mm lens, has an overall yellow cast to it which the Adobe lens correction profiles knows about. However, I didn’t want to apply the lens correction to the whole picture, so I applied it manually just to the vegetation.
My second selection was the sky because I really wanted to increase the contrast between the blue and white to show how dramatic the clouds were. Great clouds are something we don’t see often in San Diego. I applied the Topaz Adjust Vibrant Collection Dramatic filter to the sky.
Lastly, I selected just the mountains and applied the Topaz Adjust Vibrant Collection Bold filter to them.
There you have it. Masks and layers are extremely powerful, letting you do some magnificent things to photos that otherwise would be simply snapshots. Most every good photo editing program has masks and layers. Learn how to use them and you can Wow! all your friends with the magnificence of your photography.
Smile if you know what song purple mountains majesty is from….
Location of the lonely sentinel:
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