Sun and Signs

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After finishing the lessons in Scott Kelby's "7-Point System for Adobe Photoshop CS3", I had to go back and revisit some of my older stuff.

I started with this JPG image, adjusted the foreground using Camera RAW and then made another image in Camera RAW and adjusted the sky.

I merged the two images in Photoshop and then darkened the sky, lightened the foreground, desaturated the blues and yellows a tad, etc.

It's not remotely realistic. The sky is pretty dark for an image that's looking right at the sun.

Oh... and if it looks familiar, it's because I did another HDR Version months ago.

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DesertNana -majamom, madrakas, and 823 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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  1. hansi k 55 months ago | reply

    great shot !!

  2. jlmccoy 54 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called The HDR Emporium, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  3. Nico E. 53 months ago | reply

    definitely amazing, I love this picture!

  4. Mike Cumming 53 months ago | reply

    Love the composition with the sign over the sun. Great range of tones and colour across the entire image

  5. jorgen.ekstrand 51 months ago | reply

    Great shot, very nice!

  6. <Martian 51 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called because it is beautiful, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  7. juliette_devi [deleted] 50 months ago | reply

    preciosa foto.

  8. dasar 46 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called DESERTS (add the best to faves), and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  9. markousha 46 months ago | reply

    What a shot!

  10. Jeffrey Sullivan 39 months ago | reply

    Great rendering... and 47,000+ well-deserved views, congrats!

    Regarding realistic, I ran across a great comment on Ansel Adams' intent, and I recently quoted California photographer G. Dan Mitchell on the value or relevance of simple copies of a scene:

    "Adams never set out to make a true copy of a landscape."
    - Lauris Morgan-Griffiths in Adams: Landscapes of the American West

    "If the goal of photography was to make objectively accurate reproductions of real things... I wouldn't bother." - G. Dan Michell

    With our eyes changing exposure at every point in a scene, a camera is a poor tool to record what we see, and it's even poorer at reflecting what we perceived, felt...experienced. Only the photographer's further interpretations from the dull, lifeless copy that the camera provided can come close.

    Onsite your eyes certainly would have opened up the shadows on the sign text, but you still would have perceived the extremely high contrast between the sun behind and that sign. Performing that edit makes the more realistic in terms of what you perceived and experienced... subject-specific contextual details a simple camera exposure can't reflect.

    A further point, but no less notable, is that the very definition of "art" requires human intervention, so for artistic merit, the billions of photos produced with the goal of exactly reflecting what the camera saw in a single exposure will rarely rise above the value of what a high resolution webcam nailed to a tree, pointed in a pleasant direction might produce. That's not to say they're not pleasant images that someone might value to hang on their wall, but surely the act of simply being there and the technician's skill of recording a passable exposure are insufficient to elevate photography to art.

    The result doesn't need to be capital-A "Art" that a museum hangs or some gallery wants to sell for thousands of dollars, but to the extent that the photographer uses the tools at hand to seeks to convey experiences, emotions, or elicit a response, as an artist does, and regardless of what the unthinking, unseeing camera recorded, that's a good thing.

  11. sandy.redding 39 months ago | reply

    Hey thanks Jeff. Appreciate the comment... couldn't agree more with Mr. Mitchell too.

  12. WyomingGeezer 29 months ago | reply

    Great instructional image - thanks for the details.

  13. cmrowell 17 months ago | reply

    Nice. Looks familiar. I've taken a photo or two from almost the same spot (actually one in each direction). Cool to get the sun in it like that.

  14. nicsea672 [deleted] 4 months ago | reply

    I love it!

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