After Before Friday Week 13 – Pine Mountain Barn

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges

 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!

AFTER

AFTER

 

BEFORE

BEFORE

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:

Trees and Fog 2

 

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!

 

 

Trees and Fog 3

 

 

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.

 

 

Trees and Fog 4

 

 

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.”

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39 thoughts on “After Before Friday Week 13 – Pine Mountain Barn

    1. That’s what catches your eye the most? I spent over an hour on this photo and that’s what catches your eye the most? I didn’t even touch that! That was created by (if you believe in a supreme being) God. Or Mother Nature! Not by me! What does a guy have to do to get a little respect? 😉

      Oh, and thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Awesome photo, Emilio! Your editing sharped the photo dramatically. Clouds are spectacular, did you touch the clouds?
    Thank you for walking us through the touching/editing process.

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  2. Beautiful image. It’s amazing how much difference even those first edits make. I am enjoying your guide through your editing process. I must get to grips with Lightroom. Though that might mean I never get any real work done!

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    1. I am constantly amazed when I do those first 4 edits and see what a difference it makes. But if I might warn you against Lightroom…, it is addictive. Forget any lasting relationship unless you have a very outstanding (and understanding) mate! Which I do!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, it’s amazing! I didn’t realize you can create the light effect like this! I wonder if some of my throw-away photos deserve a second chance… if and only if I can do the magic like you did here, that is. 😉 Thanks! Helen

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    1. Helen, it’s taken me a while to understand just that one effect. But there are so many youtube tutorials online that I have no doubt you could learn very quickly. And it’s so much fun. I have salvaged a few photos that I initially threw away. But there have also been some photos that I could do nothing with. I am by no means an expert with Lightroom, I still am very much a beginner. And an amateur photographer with dreams!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. But you don’t need to do that ! – you’re writing for the benefit of those who have a fair idea of what you’re talking about, not for people like me who scarcely know the lens from the filter …

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    1. Thanks, Marilyn. Small confession. Between the time of writing and the time of publishing I was able to go back in and soften the focus in the sky, which helped to get rid of the noise!

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  4. Hey, Emilio! I loved reading everyone’s comments and always enjoy the witty repartee 🙂 It IS amazing what moving a simple slider in Lightroom can do for a photo – the shadow slider is the place I go to first (unless the entire photo is overexposed). And, yes, how right you are that it becomes addictive! Anyway, I digress. Great job with the photo! Yes, the clouds are gorgeous, but your addition of the highlights makes this image. By the way, I think you’ve found a great balance in detail in describing your process. Thanks for sharing this on ABFriday!

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    1. Thanks, Stacy. I appreciate that. Even though I tell myself I do this for me, it’s still nice to get feedback. Good or bad! At least you know someone’s paying attention. Speaking of which, I’ve got to get commenting on other AB Fridays!

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  5. Really beautiful result, Emilio! And thank you for sharing your step-by-step “path” to the final image – it was interesting and fun to see where you started and how it all turned out to be in the end. 🙂

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  6. I like the lightening up of the barn – the after photo is quite stunning. Of course, seen by itself, the ‘before’ one looked good to me. And this is why I will never be responsible for ‘great’ photography 🙂

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  7. I have no idea how to shoot ‘raw’, Emilio, or if my simple little Canon digital knows how (it probably does but it’s owner is clueless). I love the cloud formation, which I know you didn’t tamper with, but I can’t fail to be impressed with how you can ‘lift’ the rest of the shot. And I’m glad you enjoyed your rain 🙂

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    1. If it really is a simple little digital Canon it might not have RAW capabilities. I was shooting with my Canon for about two-three years until I learned about RAW. Now that’s all I shoot in. You can still work with jpg in post-processing- just not as detailed!

      Like

"I take anything other than 'you big pig!' as a compliment." ~ Albert Brooks

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