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End o' the valley B&W | by Rocky Pix
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End o' the valley B&W

I realized that I had not done a single black & white conversion on any of the Endovalley dawn shots to throw up in the photo stream. It seemed to me it ought to be a fitting subject because lighting played such a role in this series. I just had to pick this one after the extensive zeroing in the sky AND the foliage in the RAW exposure. This time, I spent extra time in the Hue/Saturation dialog. Once again, I used Anoop Negi's trick of desaturating the Master saturations but then adjusting the lightness/darkness of the primary controls. I adjusted the primaries with an eye to creating the separations I knew would be needed in this shot. Interestingly, this time I dropped blue darkness slider to define the sky while adjusting green for the foliage. The yellow had major impact on the foliage while red had an impact on the peaks. This is the best balance selection I found and when satisfied, I left the H/S Dialog with an OK.

 

I am still sorting back through the remaining Endovalley Picnic Grounds shots taken and I rescued some. This particular one was exposed precisely for avoiding the clouds gamut but with the foreground in deep shade, the original is nearly black in the shade with barely detectible detail, I figured it would take some heavy lifting and a lot of work to pull out detail. To this point I already have a couple hours in the outrageous light conditions. The big cloud was still playing tricks here. Yep, another one with a radical range of light and a big challenge. The camera's color balance was thrown off a bit in the strange light. This one stretched the capability of just two layers and I had to dig out an intermediate layer. But after a lot of work I decided it was peaches to use the dodge-clouds technique to dig detail from the shadows below the aspen, I like the ghost-like whitish trunks, but the area still needed to convey the blacks of the reality. I also tried to maintain full saturation in the leaves. Frankly, lifting layers this far sometimes introduces an over-saturated layer so each layer needs adjustment. The mountains were already starkly morning-lit but the deep shade hosts a pretty flat light. I worked on that as I could find a way. The shade detail came up terrific though. I hope you can't detect the bloated transitions of normal HDRs.

 

As it worked out we inherited some classic early clouding. We knew the trip would already be successful if I could snap usable images. With Phil pointing everywhere; I guess he wants me to capture everything. Oh, the price! I knew these would take a bit of processing to coax out the max from the radical lighting we saw but I exposed this with the intent of including the maximum detail I could on the lit scene. The sky and foliage processing is similar to that described in the posting I made recently. Only this time I used the technique over the entire field of aspen foliage. I think I came close to the early morning lighting quality.

 

I am convinced I need a break with some other subjects for a charge so we'll see how far this series stretches. The sky is a flat blue today and I don't think it will improve before some forecast showers..

  

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Taken on May 21, 2012