Critique Wanted Asking for help -- going for the grandeur of the skies . . . feel free to mess with the images

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Jan 3, 2012
Troy, NY
An amazing cloud front was passing through yesterday. I attempted to capture the staggering grandeur of it all, but I am not satisfied with the results. Any suggestions -- including "take up knitting" -- gladly accepted.

I have two examples, I'll present the original, followed by my own post-processing attempts. Shot with FZ200.

Example A:

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Example B:

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Cheers, Jock
 
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
Jock, I occasionally am so amazed at the clouds that I feel I need to shoot them. I am never satisfied that I was able to capture the magnificence seen in person. I also think that sometimes our mood at the time of capture informs our dissatisfaction with the end result.

Take up knitting only if it inspires you as much as photography clearly does.
 
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
OK..... here's my 2 takes on your first cloudscape.
The first is pretty "straight"....just trying to bring out more detail and midtones in the clouds. At first, I made it way too dramatic, so I layered it and set the opacity at 30% to allow the original to bleed through and tone it down.
View attachment 93871FZ200_clouds_008_Medium_ by Luke Lavin, on Flickr

Then I dragged it into the picmonkey and decided to have a little fun with it (I think clouds lend themselves to flights of fancy).

FZ200_clouds_008_Medium_dreamy by Luke Lavin, on Flickr
 

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Jan 3, 2012
Troy, NY
Luke,

Wiow, I like them both. The first because it brings out more detail (I think) and second because it's just crazy dramatic . . . in fact, it almost looks like a painting.

Thanks!

What software did you use on the first?

Cheers, Jock
 

demiro

Serious Compacts For Life
Dec 15, 2011
no way I'm going to arrive at "grandeur" with my PP skills, but here is a take on it:



Just used clarity and sharpness sliders at first, then played with tones, then reduced noise to give the clouds that milky/smoky appearance.
 
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
Jock Elliott;188521 What software did you use on the first? [/QUOTE said:
I used Silver Efex Pro (which is only for black and white), but again.....I went way too far...it made your clouds look scary instead of beautiful. So I layered it in Photoshop Elements and set the opacity to 30%.....so 70% of what you are seeing is you original shot.
 

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Jan 3, 2012
Troy, NY
no way I'm going to arrive at "grandeur" with my PP skills, but here is a take on it:



Just used clarity and sharpness sliders at first, then played with tones, then reduced noise to give the clouds that milky/smoky appearance.

I don't see the picture . . .

Cheers, Jock
 

BBW

Legend
Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
BB
Jock, I don't know anything about the software you use...I'm sorry to say. My personal recommendation is to go with Lightroom and learn the basics...and then you can add in Silver Efex Pro and Color Efex Pro down the line... They're excellent, but everyone here has their own personal favorites. (Truth be told, for the last year I have almost exclusively been using Snapseed to PP my iPhone photos and find it quite capable.) All of these softwares take time and patience...but the basics on LR such as clarity, vibrance, the curves (sliders for highlights, shadows, mid tones...etc.) are great... Post processing is such an individual take.
 

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