It’s Friday, and time for all post-processing aficionados to gather around the campfire at Stacy Fischer’s Visual Venturing Emporium to swap stories about their creative wizardry. My submission to the ritual is a simple tale, an homage to Mother Nature’s renewal of life cycle, also known as spring, here in Virginia. All of the other stories are centrally located for your convenience at Stacy’s site, and the link to them is located at the end of this post.
The cherry blossoms are fading here, but the dogwood, redbud, and Virginia bluebells are emerging. And soon we will see the English bluebells, at least where they have been planted. Looking back to last year, the English bluebells were at their peak on May 8th as I found when looking for a timely example for this week’s ABFriday Forum. As I recall, a bit of stealth was required to sneak into the backyard of a nearby house, and there was time for only a few exposures. The image chosen was opened in Adobe Camera RAW and the original version is shown below.
Original Unprocessed Image
(Technical data: Nikon D800E on tripod with 70-200mm f2.8 lens extended to 200mm; Exposure: 1/4 sec. @f/16, ISO 100)
After setting the White and Black points, some additional tweaking was necessary. Highlights were reduced (-70), Shadows opened up (+23), and I pushed harder than the usual +30 on both Clarity and Vibrance (+43 on both). The result is shown below.
After RAW Processing
From here, it seemed only two changes were needed. First, a slight increase in overall contrast,which was accomplished with the Adjustment Layer Curves option, selecting the preset “Linear Contrast” and the blend mode stayed at “Normal”. The result, shown below,slightly darkens the green foliage at the top and the rocks near the waterfall.
After Overall Curves Adjustment
But the foreground is still way too bright. So, using the polygon lasso tool, the lower half of the image was selected and a second Adjustment Layer Curves was used. The image below shows the area in red that was was masked from the effect of the adjustment. The setting on the adjustment layer is indicated with the blue (teal) arrow.
This seemed to be sufficient and the final result is shown below.
Please take a look at the submissions by other participants at Stacy’s Visual Venturing Blog by clicking here.