Fall Sunset on a Colorado Farm- 2 Views and Silver Efex Pro Testing

Fall Sunset on a Colorado Farm- Color Version

Fall Sunset on a Colorado Farm- B&W Version

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.

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About Kelley B.

I am a Durango, CO photographer who specializes in portraiture and wedding photography. My business is Kelley Bard Photography. You can find me around town, gardening, or on my website at www.kelleybard.com. View all posts by Kelley B.

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