Outdoor Photography Post Processing
Time of day:Afternoon
Comment:I love the texture of the wet sand and the cloudy skies above with the boats sitting in the background.
Post processing improvements
First off start by making a clone of your image as a new layer on top of your background image. Go to the layers pane and drag the Background layer onto the Create a new layer button. This will create a new layer named Background copy and this is the layer we will be working on. I started by cleaning up the image from dust marks. Your camera model does not have a self clean feature so it may be a good idea to have the sensor cleaned from time to time especially if you are shooting in daylight with narrow apertures. Also clean your lenses, although the majority of dust marks visible in photos are usually from your sensor. To clean the dust marks I used the clone stamp tool. The size of the brush should be just over the size of the dust mark you want to clean and set the hardness to about 25% and opacity to 50%. This will make the changes blend in.
I then proceeded to make the the following main changes to colour and contrast: 1. Auto levels to see what Photoshop would show me by way of auto changes. It made the contrast a little more accentuated and added a bit of blue. So far so good. 2. Curves. S-shape (from top right to bottom left) with the biggest dip under the gradient (bottom left). 3. Levels. To create more contrast with less burn and brighten the image even more. 4. Shadow/highlight. To balance out the light and dark spots 5. Colour balance. To bring out the blue and red of the image, make it more realistic. 6. Quick selection tool. To select bottom half of the horizon i.e. the beach. I did this to add a little more contrast using the burn tool and tweak the colour balance adding a little more red. 7. Inverted the selection to give me the sky where again with the colour balance I added more blue to really bring out the colour of the sky. 8. Finally I used the burn tool on edges of the whole image just to add a slight vignette which I think works well with this image.
Finally because of all the changes made the cloud (top centre) was a little burnt which I think was a bit of a distraction and was niggling at me like a loose tooth. So to take care of this I used the eraser tool (low hardness to make it blend) and rubbed out the section of the cloud that I didn't like. I then selected the background layer, changed it to b&w, tweaked the colour balance, flattened the image and saved it as a jpg. Done!
First off I really like the photo. I am not a great fan of landscapes but everything in this image ties well together and makes for an image that really transports you to the scene. Just the right mix of cloud and sand with the boats perfectly placed and a solid horizon just off centre. Well done! I am of the belief that the real talent in Photoshop is to not over do it but to use it to enchance and already solid image without making it look like it has been through post processing. I like contrast in images (as you can see from the result) so my goal here was to accentuate the canals in the sand and the gorgeous blue sky. I used the following 3 sets of improvements.
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