I made this image on a winter fog day, snow covered ground. Applied very small amount of ICM as well. Originally had some banding in the graduated filter in sky but I cut down the contrast as suggested in a previous image with the same issue.

Specific Feedback Requested

comp/processing and any other comments

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
24 mm, f/22. 0.8 sec, iso 50

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Hm. A little unsettling for sure. A skeletal dance. Shivering fingers reaching. Blindly seeking. Quite eerie. There is some banding in the top half that might be a result of file compression. Moving none-the-less.

Agree with @Kris_Smith in regards to both the eeriness and banding.

Do you have any without the ICM? I love the spacing and the minimalist nature of the image. I also like the vignette from above. I really like the composition here, but the movement doesn’t work for me on this one.

THank you @Kris_Smith, @Jim_McGovern for comments. Unfortunately I only did the ICM image. I have had some suggestions on resolving the banding issue as well.

I too see the strong banding, but I think I understand your idea here. I kind of like it.
I would love to see a “non ICM” version.

Hopefully you can determine what part of your workflow is creating the banding, it’s pretty strong in this image as well. Otherwise, I like the luminosity gradient in the sky, it is an interesting presentation that places emphasis on the trees. However, I’m with @joaoquintela, I would perhaps prefer to see the trees in a straight presentation rather than ICM. To me this image is about starkness ( a strong suit of B&W). And I think that stark feeling would be more enhanced by a straight presentation of the trees.

@Ed_McGuirk Attached is a version with further decrease in contrast in sky gradient and as sRGB as usual. The third post is in adobe RGB with same contrast adjustment. I am changing shotting to Adobe RGB from sRGB based on an article Ed sent me. I need to solve this issue…yikes.

If you were shooting/converting original raw files in the sRGB colorspace that explains your sky banding. That color space is narrow enough that the fewer tones in the sky would lead to banding.

I set my camera to capture raw in Adobe RGB in-camera. I use Lightroom to convert my raw files, and and set that to the Pro Photo color space (very wide). Any processing done in Lightroom only should not have banding unless I make super crazy contrast adjustments. If I need to do further work in Photoshop, I use Prophoto RGB color space, and always save the TIFF files as 16 bit. By doing this, I get the most tones possible, reducing the risk of sky banding (caused by not having enough tones for smooth gradations in the sky). Whether I create a JPEG from a LR raw or a PS TIFF, my processing has been done with more tones before the Jpeg is exported to post at NPN. The conversion to Jpeg is usually not the root cause of banding, rather its not using a wide enough color space to process in, or not using 16 bit TIFFs. Super Aggressive contrast adjustments can be the exception to this, you just need to be careful.

Thanks Ed, very helpful. I will make these changes