If you’ve ever been to the coast of Oregon in the winter then you know how magically misty it can be. When I observed this characteristic scene I felt captivated by the translucence of the low clouds. With a waterfall, this scene was complete.
Specific Feedback Requested
Do you prefer a cool tone on the clouds as shown here or a warmer tone?
Is this a composite: No
Captured with the only camera I had at the moment - an iPhone.
Gorgeous scene with that little waterfall coming in to the surf. It must have been a magical day at the beach.
I think the relatively strong cool tone on the clouds would work better if the overall scene were darker. With the exposure as it is, I’m thinking maybe just dial back the blue saturation of the clouds a tad. You also could add the barest touch of warmth to the foreground to create more depth.
Matt, I’ve never been to the Oregon Coast, winter or otherwise. But this is still magically misty to me. I like the composition a lot, there is a nice balance between beach, cliff, and forest. The repeating diagonal lines in the trees, is also mimicked in the cliffs themselves too. And the waterfall is icing on the cake.
Color is a matter of personal taste, to my eye this looks like it could use a bit more pop from color. When in doubt, one of my first steps is to run a TK Actions Neutralize Color Cast 1, sometimes playing with opacity of that adjustment. Here is the TK NCC1 at 80% opacity. I like what it does to the beach ( @Bonnie_Lampley suggested warming it), and to the fog. To me this rework has more vitality, while still keeping the magical misty look. My personal taste usually leans to fog with more luminosity. YMMV.
@Bonnie_Lampley, @Ed_McGuirk, Thank you both for weighing in and your suggestions to warm up the color a bit. I appreciate the specifics, Ed, on your process and the example. The image you posted is quite realistic - it resembles so very many scenes I witnessed during my 8+ years living in Oregon. That part of the world is just so unique and evocative of an idealized gloom and richness of climate. There is nothing static or uninteresting about it.
As I think you know, I am not one to present images that represent reality but I did so here to achieve a similar result as you, reposted above. Next, I’ll depart into other ideas to see where it goes. I frequently begin processing by getting to a representational image then move in new directions because it gives me a baseline.
Magically misty is a great description, and this captures it nicely. I much prefer the rework; it looks much more natural to my eye.
When you head this way, give a shout. I know a spot or two.
Thank you for the kind offer John, I’ll take you up on that if this pandemic ever ends. The Oregon coast is one of the few places out west that I never visited, but it is high on my to do list.