January 24, 2020 — Londrangar View Point, Snaefellsjökull Peninsula, Iceland
I think I’ve only done this once before: posted that same frame twice in a row, with the second being a re-do. There’s a story.
When I posted this picture the other night, I decided at the last minute that the image was too dark. It was late and I was in a hurry, so I simply went back to the 16-bit Photoshop file and adjusted the Levels slider to lighten it up a bit and made a re-sized new 8-bit jpg for the blog. Not really the right tool for the job because the Levels slider alters the tonal balance, but it was too late at night and I was too tired to do it the right way. So I posted it. Close enough, I said to myself. I continued to think about it as I stumbled off to sleep. “No, not close enough,” I thought as I finally closed my eyes.
Despite my private misgivings, the picture got very nice feedback — for which I am grateful — but it just wasn’t what I wanted. Also, WordPress has a way with subtle colors that borders on outright assault and my quick-and-dirty adjustment gave it the the opportunity to have its evil ways* with it.**
Yesterday I took a close look and discovered other color distortions in my Photoshop master file, introduced by my own overenthusiastic use of vibrancy on the sky. Unacceptable.
So I did what I should’ve done in the first place: took it all the way back to the RAW file, made a virtual copy in DxO and had another bash at it. This time I brightened it the right way by raising the Exposure slider, which preserved the tonal balance while making the image brighter. (I confirmed the brightening later when I exported the developed RAW file to Photoshop and made the background white to simulate paper to see what it looked like there.) While I was still in DxO I brought the vibrancy in the sky back down to get rid of the color distortions that I’d inadvertently caused in the first version in a misguided attempt to make the sky richer, and made a couple of local contrast tweaks.
I let it go overnight to let it breathe and took another look in the morning. A couple of localized contrast adjustments — tiny — brought out the barely discernable reflections in the water and at the same time improved the tonal balance between water and sky. Looked at it one last time against dark gray, light gray, black, and white backgrounds in Photoshop to again be sure it was light enough but not too light, cropped it, and it was a wrap.
Now I can sleep.
Thank you for your indulgence.
Be well. Do good. Create.
(Nikon D850, Tamron SP 24–70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2. ISO 64, 20 sec at f/16; 6-stop neutral density filter. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 3.2; Further editing in Adobe Photoshop.)
For more Seascape Horizons, see amagaphoto.com
*You’ve got to change your evil ways, WordPress
Your blues are warm and your pinks are cold.
You’re messin’ ’round, WordPress
With middle grays and-a who knows what
I’m tired of tweaking and fooling around
I’ll post a photo that’s already dumbed down
This can’t go on…
Lord knows you got to change.
**No guarantee it won’t do it again with this new version but making the adjustments the right way should help. Fingers crossed.
PS. This is my 200th post.￼