View Full Version : Sunset from the Pacific Crest Trail

Jim Keener
04-29-2014, 06:49 PM
Taken in January 2014 looking west (of course) from the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail near the Palms to Pines Highway. Nearest towns: Palm Desert and Idyllwild, California.

1DX, 24-70/2.8 at 30mm. 1/250, f/8, ISO 250. Hand held. No crop. Retouched in Lightroom.

Dvir Barkay
04-29-2014, 07:37 PM
neat image, it looks a bit off balance, and I get the idea of having an off balance compo, but I still would rather have more ground. Also the contrast is a bit severe but not much could be done about that. Should have been awesome just watching that sun lighting up the clouds like that, always love that.

Don Railton
04-29-2014, 11:23 PM
Hi Jim

Very nice sky... I would consider cropping a little off the top, but its very nice. What I don't understand is the multi colour you have in bushes in the foreground, have you lightened up this area a lot or did they really look like this??? The colour in the foreground looks to be colour noise which usually arrives when you try to overly lighten up an underexposed area. The 1DX at ISO 250 should be very clean of any colour noise so I am assuming you pushed the processing here quite a lot to get a bit of foreground detail. If so, I would back of a little on the processing then look at applying a bit of Chroma noise reduction to pull the colours back to a uniform colour.


Jim Keener
04-29-2014, 11:25 PM
Thanks, Don. That's very helpful. I'll work on it this week and post the result.

Don Railton
04-30-2014, 05:58 AM
Glad to be of help here Jim. If you get into this situation again where there is what's called a high dynamic range ( ie lots of very dark along side lots of very bright),consider taking two shots, exposing for the dark in one image and for the light in the other, then blend the two images together in Photoshop using the correctly exposed bits from each image.


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Andrew McLachlan
05-01-2014, 04:54 PM
Hi Jim, good suggestions already given above...I would also go to Selective Color and reduce black on both Cyan and Blue channels as the blue sky looks a little too overdone for my tastes. Look forward to the repost.

Jim Keener
05-02-2014, 10:53 AM
I think I've incorporated each of the modifications suggested in this thread. My gut response when first reading them was defensive. And than I read them several more times and got into a learning mode and became grateful for the experience.

I especially liked the results from the crop, changing the exposure in the foreground, and dropping about half the black in the blue and cyan channels. I now want to make a habit of taking bracketed exposure shots as the sky darkens, resulting in more range to work with.

Again my gratitude to those who responded.

Jim Keener
05-02-2014, 11:03 AM

I cropped this more and modified the shadows, black, clarity, and vibrance settings in Lightroom.

Don Railton
05-03-2014, 06:00 AM
Hi Jim

This is what I was thinking off.... I have taken bit off the top, then pulled back the exposure in the immediate foreground, then lifted all of the black Fore Ground to provide a hint of detail (probably could have gone a bit further lifting the exposure here but its difficult in the small jpeg posted). This will be much easier to do with a bracketed exposure, and the result will be better than shown using the the base file instead of the tiny JPEG you posted, but I hope it conveys what i was thinking.

Morkel Erasmus
05-04-2014, 08:31 AM
Late to this one, Jim.
From your original post it just seems you pulled up the shadows too much, as there's a significant amount of colour and chromatic noise present and it's not worth bringing that detail back at the quality it comes back at. Your subsequent reposts aggravates the noise.
I would leave it a silhouette and go for a dark foreground.
Nice sky and sunstar!

Diane Miller
05-08-2014, 09:38 AM
A good evolution of thought and processing here. An alternative version is to go with the original sky and just crop off the bottom where is was lightened. (Maybe clone some of the distant buildings to leave a silhouetted base.) The original sky is very strong but it has great clarity -- not overdone, to me. I don't think I would even crop any of it at the top. As it goes to purple you get a lovely complementary color to the golds.

The lightened FG in the OP gives the look of a too strong and too hard-edged grad ND.