View Full Version : Overwhelming...

Morkel Erasmus
05-13-2010, 05:48 PM
This image was taken on our recent trip to the South African Highveld. These magnificent stacks of cumulus were building up over a tree on a distant hilltop, and I found my new 10-22mm lens to be too wide to give it the scale it needs (the clouds looked small, when they were in fact huge).

I noticed that the circular polarising filter I had bought (Kenko Pro CPL) was a 77mm thread, which was also the thread of my 100-400mm lens...voila!!

A little adjustment in the white balance and adding some to the black channel got this image to the mood I wanted it to have during post-processing. Cropped a bit from top and bottom to get rid of dead space on top and cluttered bushes at the bottom.

All comments most welcome!

Canon 7D with 100-400mm L IS USM @ 100mm
f8.0 @ 1/1000 SS @ ISO-320

Hilary Hann
05-14-2010, 12:28 AM
Morkel, my kind of landscape completely. If you had complete control over the weather I would have loved to see some light on the tree as it has been lost a little. Love those African clouds.

Morkel Erasmus
05-14-2010, 01:06 AM
thanks Hilary - I have some light on the tree as the sun was actually coming from more to my side of the shot, but I darkened it on purpose to enhance the mood here...

Hilary Hann
05-14-2010, 01:20 AM
Ah, interpretation is everything! I'd love to see the lit tree, may not prefer it at all. ;)

Sabyasachi Patra
05-14-2010, 05:35 AM
I am with Hilary on this one. The overall image also feels a bit dark to my taste. Also, slightly more space at the bottom would have been better. Is the horizon sloping in the original? Thanks for sharing.


Lance Warley
05-14-2010, 09:09 AM
There are clouds, and then there are YOUR kind of clouds, Morkel. Very, very dramatic.

Just wondering - would a little lightening and contrast light them up even more without losing the mood?

Dave Mills
05-14-2010, 09:45 AM
Hi Morkel, Talk about clouds that have impact...this is it! Nice job framing the comp with the sepia tone adding some drama. I like the small tree and placement but felt it was getting a bit lost in the image due to the darness in that area. I lightened the area a bit to show some more separation. Another idea!!

Morkel Erasmus
05-14-2010, 02:33 PM
thanks for the varied views Dave, Lance, Hilary & Sabyasachi.

I did a rework tonight and went for a pseudo-HDR (using manual blending masks) to get detail and a lighter tone on the tree and maintain the mood I was going for in the sky. How does this sit with you guys?

Dave Mills
05-14-2010, 04:47 PM
Hi, Better...i would just like to see the clouds more dimensional...

Hilary Hann
05-14-2010, 05:20 PM
I like the direction you're going in but agree with Dave's suggestion. I do think you can get more drama from those magnificent clouds, especially with your skills in this area.

Dennis "Curly" Buchner
05-15-2010, 01:19 PM
Great clouds and landscape, maybe a candidate for B/W

Mike Fuhr
05-15-2010, 03:13 PM
BW is an interesting suggestion. Would love to see that. Otherwise, your last post is my favorite -- it doesn't look quite as "processed" as the first. Love the composition.

Morkel Erasmus
05-15-2010, 03:55 PM
thank you Dave, Hilary & Curly...

here is a final repost where I blended in a B&W layer for more texture and drama...I think I like this one best...

Hilary Hann
05-15-2010, 04:43 PM
Morkel, I'd be happy with your final repost … feels awe inspiring!

Morkel Erasmus
05-16-2010, 03:00 PM
thanks Hilary - appreciate your comments!

Roman Kurywczak
05-23-2010, 02:50 PM
Hey Morkel,
Yeah....I was away when you posted this one and missed it! I think you are on the right track with the re-post but it lacks some of the color of the OP....which IMO is necessary. I think you can get there by doing a screen layer at reduced opacity on the sky and then just some levels layers tweaks. I do agree on a bit more FG if possible but you really have some excellent drama in that sky!

Nagesh Mula
06-08-2010, 03:58 PM
Beautiful picture infact poignant and I agree with Roman here to add more space at the bottom. Congrats!!

Morkel Erasmus
06-13-2010, 03:43 AM
thanks Roman & Nagesh!