It was a lazy Saturday afternoon, the wife out of town, dishes piled in the sink, bed unmade. We had been to Pine Mountain UT two years earlier and I wanted to return to take some photos. Couldn’t believe Google Maps saying it was 3 and a half hours away. But I started out at 1:30 hoping to reach the area by golden hour. Guess they don’t know how I drive. I shaved a full hour off the total time and arrived long before golden hour, yet just in time for a torrential downpour. Thunder and lightning and gusty winds! Coming from sun drenched Nevada, suffering through a 4 year drought, I felt as if I were in heaven! I drove with the windows open along the final few miles to Pine Mountain getting soaked. Not one good photo came from there. But along the way, before the rains, I did stop along the side of the road to capture this image. When I opened it in Lightroom I was unsure how much I could push it. When viewed 1:1 there is some noise in the sky that I think I can work on!
I hope you enjoy!
So, as mentioned in a previous ABFriday, I always begin by opening up the shadows and bringing down the highlights, then I check the clipping on the whites and blacks (so that no whites are blown out and there is still detail in the blacks). I might add a bit of contrast at this stage depending on the image and lighting. The before image above is straight from the camera. The corrected image below has these first 5 elements adjusted:
You can see how much detail there was in the blacks. This is only possible when shooting RAW. If shooting jpg, you would not be able to get as much detail back!
I then darkened the bottom of the photo up to the mountain tops and started adding bursts of highlights to the sides of the barn.
I added highlights to the roof and the front of the barn and on the grass and tree tops in this version on the left. I also straightened the image overall!
For the After version (the first image that opened this post), I then added some clarity to the image and softened the sky a bit. I also added a vignette (a slight darkening of the tops and sides) to focus the eye to the center of the image!
And there you have it! I also have a black and white version that didn’t come out too poorly. I might use it for Monochromia one day. Please stop by there to see some fantastic black and white images.
And please stop by to thank Stacy Fischer over at Visual Venturing for hosting After Before Friday each week!Her reason for doing this? “Because everyone likes pictures.”