Posts Tagged ‘waterfall’

White Balance – Another Approach

November 10, 2011

Court of the Patriarchs in Zion National Park

This image was taken the previous year at Zion. At this location it can be a little precarious getting down to the water’s edge so the average group will not be found here. It’s a man made waterfall despite it’s realistic look. I’d like to disclose that I cloned out part of a footbridge in the far right hand side.

While I was processing this image, I found there were so many different white balances inside the frame. The blue sky at dawn had it’s own, the alpen glow had it’s own, the peaks were in between the the sky and the fall foliage, plus the waterfall had so much of a blue cast and the shadows in the far right corner were even cooler on the white balance scale. You may often see some guru talking about white balance and if you set it to an exact setting it fixes all your problems, I find that very hard to believe when many scenes have so many different white balances inside them so it helps but it’s not a fix all. A general setting will help but it’s highly likely you will need to make adjustments during your processing or blend multiple RAW files with different WB* settings. For this image I used Nik’s Color Efex Pro (sieren discount code). The brilliance & warmth slider made some of the white balance adjustments pretty easy and I masked them with a brush to keep the parts I wanted and discarded what I didn’t want to use. Also, I used the Remove Color Cast option for the “too blue” waterfall because the selective color adjustment in PS didn’t do enough. Although it still remains cool, it’s personal taste how warm or cool you may want something to be. Tonal Contrast was also used to bring mid tones to only specific areas I wanted them in. I thought I would share a few processing steps some people may have trouble with.

This year there was a log jam from a flood here at this waterfall so I didn’t bother shooting it but found another little piece of Virgin River shoreline with a couple of golden cottonwoods that I hope to share later after I get back from the Joshua Tree Light Painting Workshop this weekend.

*WB abbreviation for white balance.

Website: Portfolio
Workshop info: Scenic Photo Workshops
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Art Without Photoshop

October 5, 2011

Havasu Falls at Dusk, Havasu Canyon, Grand Canyon, Arizona

Do You Really Need Photoshop to Make an Artistic Photograph?

If anyone tells you yes, that’s BULLSHIT!! If the light hits the sensor in an appealing way then you can get away without using photoshop or elements. You will need to convert the RAW image to a jpeg with a basic converter. Many times we will need need photoshop to make local adjustments meaning specific areas of a photograph. But yes there are times when the light is perfectly fine within the frame of what was photographed and if the composition is fine then it just may be artistic enough.

Just to clarify, this is not an anti photoshop blogpost, I wouldn’t own Photoshop CS5, 4, 3, 2 and other versions if I didn’t use them.

Havasu Falls at Dusk, Havasu Canyon, Grand Canyon, Arizona

Website: Portfolio
Workshop info: Scenic Photo Workshops
Private or small group workshop info: Learn.
Steve’s Photo Tips and How To Page
Steve’s Landscape Photographer Tools Page