It has been a while since I have posted as I haven’t had much time for photography over the last several months and had let my membership lapse. I’m glad to be back though and look forward to getting involved again.

This is an image that I took from a recent trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The clouds provided a lot of drama as storms were moving through the area.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

All comments and critiques related to image processing are welcome.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

I’m interested in your thoughts about the composition. All comments are welcome, but specifically I’m wondering about your thoughts about the lack of a true middle-ground. This was captured along one of the overlooks and I had raised the tripod to it’s maximum height and was shooting over my head to avoid some distracting foreground elements. I could have used an Ansel Adams like platform on my car! :grinning:

In the end I’m pleased with the results, but I’m curious about your thoughts.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Single image RAW capture
f/11 @ 1/80 sec
ISO 100

Processing Info:

Basic RAW processing in Lightroom (exposure adjustments)

Clone layer to remove dust spots and a few bugs that were trying to photobomb my image!
Layers adjustment to adjust global contrast
Midtones curves adjustment using TK’s luminosity mask V7 actions to bring out midtone contrast in the foreground trees
Lights luminosity mask to add contrast in the sky
Darks luminosity mask to add contrast to background mountains and add further contrast to the foreground trees.
TK’s dehaze and clarity adjustments
Slight crop to further remove a couple of distracting elements
Subtle vignette.

Thanks go to Sean Bagshaw for his great tutorials which have been a tremendous help!

If you would like your image to be eligible for a feature on the NPN Instagram (@NaturePhotoNet), add the tag ‘ig’ and leave your Instagram username below.
You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Welcome back Brian! I live in Asheville and am familiar with scenes such as yours. I think you’ve done an excellent job of emphasizing the luminance range in the scene with contrast enhancements and believe you’ve done a great job with color accurately as well. The only thing to my eye that is a bit off balance is the degree of emphasis placed on the “foreground” trees. Because they take up at least 50% of the image, my friend Mark VanDyke would say that this is a particular part of the “story” that you wish to emphasize. To my eye, the trees in the foreground help ground the scene and provide perspective, but then fall in comparison to the power of the drama played out in the background and sky. I took the liberty to crop your image in to a panorama and hope you don’t mind my cropping the border to maintain consistency in this version. I’d be interested in your thoughts on the above. Hope to see you around sometime!

Thanks, Jim! I do like the idea of the panoramic format here and agree that it creates a nice balance between the foreground trees and the background mountains. I have started experimenting with stitching panoramas, but didn’t think about it when I was at this location for some reason. I do have some resolution to spare though if I decide to go that direction.

Welcome back Brian! Great to see and image post from you.

I think you did a great job with the various layers in getting the contrasts going. Looks great to me in both the mountains/fog and the trees. The colors and overall processing - no nits or suggestions.

I can just picture the tripod raised to its max height and shooting above your head… given what you were able to capture, I would agree that Ansel Adams platform would have been great!

I do agree with Jim’s assessment and think a pano crop would balance things out. This feels a bit like exactly needing more height to bring the midground, rolling hills and more fog in to play. A bit of a crop I think helps in that regard.

You mentioned the addition of a little vignette. I usually like doing that as well, but I think here as presented if you keep all of the trees, then I might like to see a bit more detail in those lovely trees; perhaps raising the luminosity in general. But then if you go with the crop then the point becomes moot.


Here’s an updated version with the vignette removed and a slightly different crop from my original post to remove some protruding leaves on the right hand side of the frame that I missed in my original post. Thanks everyone for the feedback!

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Good to see you back and I quite like the image. I think your repost is on the money and works for me. Love the layers front to back.

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