Passing Through

This is a second image of Mt. Shuksan, taken a little later than my prior post. After several days of essentially no clouds at Mt. Rainier, the skies finally cooperated and interesting clouds were passing through the entire time @Steve_Kennedy and I were there.

This is a single image, something I rarely do with this lens. When I tested it, I found it is the sharpest in the center wide open (and when processing images from this trip that the corners are sharpest a stop down, or so, from wide open). That’s great for gathering light, but not so good for depth of field; I usually have to focus stack images to get the best sharpness.

Specific Feedback Requested

Since the third image of this series is more colorful, I opted for black and white here. I played with darkening the sky more to make the mountain stand out, but to my eye it just didn’t look as attractive. ( I find contrast to be a tricky thing in these conversions, and to vary a lot from image to image. I definitely use more than for a color image, but find it is like salt; too much is not good either.) Would you use more? Less?

I also didn’t tone this one; to my eye it looked better as is. Any thoughts on that?

Any other suggestions always welcome.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
FUJIFILM XF 10-24mm F4 at 19.2 mm (29 mm equivalent)
1/500 sec. at f/4.0 and ISO 160


I converted from the raw, but here’s the color jpg the camera recorded.

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John, this is a real old school landscape that works beautifully in monochrome. You’ve handled the conversion very well indeed. It is interesting to compare the RAW colour with the monochrome - the latter being far more dramatic and compelling. That being said, I feel as though you’ve overdone the clarity/texture in the mountain. It is in the distance and yet it is by far the sharpest part of the frame. As it is, it feels to me as though the mountain and the clouds are fighting for my attention and don’t quite feel in a coherent relationship. To me, the clarity of the mountain feels a tad unnatural and I would be inclined to tone it back a little.

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Thanks @Kerry_Gordon. I added a version chasing your suggestion for comparison.

A grand image in every sense John and quite amazing how different the mood is in the BW conversion. Also quite something in the amount of detail you pulled out of those shadows. I think the reworked version is better and is more natural. The darkened sky however seems just a little overdone to my eye with that really dark area in the TRC pulling my eye over there.

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Very much prefer the B&W treatment to color, and the monochrome processing is done very well to bring out the textures and gray tones. The reflection in the water maybe seems a little bright relative to the actual non-reflected source, and the sky clouds are so interesting that they maybe pull my eye away from the main subject, the mountain. It’s still a wonderfully presented scene that has a lot of great stuff to look at.

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This is just excellent John. The clouds are about as perfect as you could have wanted. The transformation from the raw is amazing.

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Striking scene and very well processed… there is nothing in this scene that f4 would not get sharp with a good lens so that was the right call. People stop down lens way more than necessary, most lens sweet spot is in the midrange f stops, that is what they were designed for.

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John, this is a spectacular b&w view. While the differences are quite subtle, I prefer the tiny bit of extra contrast in the first post. That is one awesome sky and a great reflection.


Wonderful job with the B&W conversion here John. Those clouds are to die for. You also did an amazing job recovering shadow detail along the shoreline, based on looking at the original color version. It is so much more powerful an image in B&W than color.

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Thanks @Kerry_Gordon, @Bill_Crich, @Tony_Kuyper, @Igor_Doncov, @Dan_Kearl, @Mark_Seaver, and @Ed_McGuirk! Your thoughts are more than appreciated.

I took one more run at it with the additional feedback in mind, and do like this third version the best.

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Put me down also for the B&W, John. This looks like the classic western scene that Ansel Adams would capture. The differences in the three versions are subtle, but my favorite is #3 as that one is about as good as it gets. This has a wonderful range of tones and the reflection along with the clouds are a landscape photographer’s dream. Gorgeous image!

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