It’s Friday already! And that means it’s time for Stacy Fisher’s AfterBefore Friday Forum where photographers from around the globe gather in our Virtual Conference Room to exchange ideas on what we do after the camera’s image has been downloaded into our processing device. That device can be a big computer, a tiny phone, or a tray of odiferous chemicals (remember them?). You can see the other creative efforts at Stacy’s Visual Venturing blog and I highly recommend you check them out.
But before we go any farther, I’m pleased to announce the winner of last week’s quiz: Janice Foreman, of “Moments in Time“, an excellent blog that I have been following for some time. She will receive a copy of “Washington, DC,” a small collection of images I have taken of the city as soon as I can gather enough stamps to send it to Canada. If you want to see the answers to the quiz they have been posted in the updated version (right at the top) of the original post. Click here for details.
I’ve been spending a lot of time down at the Tidal Basin this week as the annual cherry blossom extravaganza builds toward its climax. But sometimes the not-quite-ready star of the show (cherry blossoms in this case) gets upstaged by the old pro (the Jefferson Memorial). Last Sunday morning’s sunrise provided Thomas an opportunity to take center stage as the prime photography subject. And he did not disappoint.
Original RAW Image
The original photo was taken about 20 minutes after sunrise, and the golden light on the Jefferson Memorial looked really nice. The original, unprocessed RAW image is shown above. (Nikon D800E, handheld with a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens extended to 42mm. Exposure 1/160th sec @ f/16, ISO 400)
The adjustments in Adobe Camera RAW were straight forward, with the primary need for opening up the shadows and dark areas on the Memorial. This was done by setting the White point to +60, and then, after setting the Black point, increasing the Shadows to the maximum value of +100. The Clarity and Vibrance settings to +30, which is the usual amount for me. (See image below)
Adobe Camera RAW Dialog Panel
The image was then opened in Photoshop CC, and the primary step was to crop the image to bring attention to the sun’s light on the stone surface. Next, a very slight boost with a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer. The only remaining step was to add just a little impact to the sky. I created a new layer and used the gradient tool, setting the blend mode for soft light. (See image below)
The gradient tool (as I used it here) essentially mimics the effect of those neutral density graduated filters made famous by Galen Rowell and Singh Ray 15 years or so ago. There are many, many ways to accomplish this in Photoshop and you will be relieved to know that this post is not going to discuss any of them. A far more enjoyable use of your time would be to visit Stacy’s Forum and enjoy the submissions of the other participants. You can do that by clicking here.