Apr 162011

{click image to view large}

Photographed last November, this one sat in the archives because I didn’t have the skills to process. As you can see in the original capture, contrast was low and detail soft:

In the tutorials of Tony Kuyper Photography, I discovered two procedures which helped make the image pop:

1. Curves>Auto>(Options) Enhance Monochromatic Contrast adjustment. Try this early in the editing process, and adjust clipping of black and white points to taste.

2. High Pass sharpening with a large radius. The starting point was 25px, but I bumped it up to 40px. I actually learned this several years ago from Mark Johnson, who used it in his Botanical Dreaming series to bring out detail in soft focus images. However, I didn’t really understand how it works until Tony applied it to clouds—which turn out to be a perfect subject for this approach.

I’m grateful to photographers who share their process with all of us!

Panasonic DMC-FZ40; f8 @ 1/80sec, ISO 80 (handheld);
Focal length: 8.1mm (47mm EFL)

  4 Responses to “Cloud Play №1”

  1. April,

    I love this picture a lot for, as you describeed in TME Members Challenges, its rythm, its “S” shape and its aerial qualities: light and movement.

    Very generous of you to refer us to Tony Kuyper’s tutorials. I love those and refer to them regularly.

    I did not forget your mom but my family keeps me busy.

    I hope you win the Member Challenges for your ” Cloud Play”.

    In TME I first saw two clouds and read Clouds Play as the title. I am sorry.

  2. April, I haven’t been here in a while. Glad to see you showing us exactly what you did to enhance this delicate cloud. You must have CS4 or 5, because my CS3 isn’t set up this way. I’ll have to see if I can find similar tools in Curves.


  3. Flo,
    You have the same possibilities in CS3. Go to Help/ Index. I do not remember too well. But I used to set the Target and Clipping controls.

  4. Micheline, I’m so glad Stephen Issell referred me to Tony Kuyper’s tutorials. I’d not come across them before!

    And, I prefer your title “Clouds Play”. 🙂

    Flo, it’s a pleasure to see you here again and I thank you for your comments. I hope you enjoyed a wonderful workshop in Callaway with Marti!

    If you bring up (Image>Adjustments>) Curves in CS3, I think you’ll see an “Options” button in the panel which offers the same controls. Let us know?

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