Here are two different versions of the same photo, a fabulous sunset that I saw yesterday while driving home through the fallow fields. I stopped because I saw a hawk poised in the top branches of the tallest tree and couldn’t resist taking a few photos. I ended up taking over 40 shots, close up, far away, with the bird, without the bird… The first few shots had the sun directly behind the tree, and I was waiting somewhat impatiently for the sun to drop enough to get this shot. I LOVE how the sun rays look, and was glad that the atmosphere made them visible. Otherwise the sky would be blah and I would be making this a panoramic shot (lol).
This was processed as a 3 exposure HDR in Photomatix, with lots of Photoshop trials and errors along the way. I used Topaz Adjust, Noiseware Professional and lots of masking in Photoshop. The black and white version was made with Nik Silver Efex Pro. I added in some graininess to the photo purposefully, to give it a feeling of film. In my version of Photoshop, the color version has a bit of a color break in the sky, not a smooth transition but more of a splotch of blue, surrounded by slightly darker blue, surrounded itself by slightly darker blue… anyone else ever have this experience? I’m sure I will have to print it to see if it shows on paper. I did the black and white for two reasons- to test Nik Silver Efex Pro with another image (and, although I don’t think B&W is the best for this image, I do like this view a lot), and to see if I could remove that splotchiness. I found that by adding in grain with the software, I removed the color problems. Now I will have to print both versions to see what they look like in reality! If anyone has a good suggestion, I was wondering if I over-processed or over-smoothed the sky and that caused the initial color problems. Any ideas or experiences?
Photos are posted at www.kelleybard.com/places. I would LOVE to hear your views on these images and others, so don’t hesitate to comment on them! I also post 90% of what ends up here on flickr, click on the link and it will take you to my page. I get lots of comments there, and helpful tips.