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Blown sky - crop or process?
I took this street scene in Siena and quite like it apartfrom the lack of detail in the sky..

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeinromsey/1621768753/.

Question is should I crop it to remove the sky or do some postprocessing on the sky area? I tried adjusting brightness and contrast butunfortunately the detail just isn't there! I could add sky from another photobut my attempts to do this didn't look natural..

What should I do to improve this photo?..

Comments (14)

There's nothing worthwhile at the top of that photo. Chop it off, and you've got a nice photograph..

Who cares if there's blue inbetween the nothing-ness at the upper sides of the shot?.

Check the width-height ratio; simple cropping might deliver the right format for an 8x10. Then all you need is a frame, a nail, and a hammer..

BAK..

Comment #1

Is this better?.

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Comment #2

Also another option.

Blown Sky action.

This action replaces an overexposed sky with a very realistic looking blue sky. It has user input for optimum control and combined with a Cloud brush, does a fantastic job, imo..

Http://www.outdooreyes.com/photo58.php3.

Bill,Jr'I kind of like the Earth, it's where I keep all my Stuff.'Website; http://www.pbase.com/wboth125 Lake Wylie, SC..

Comment #3

MikeInRomsey wrote:.

I took this street scene in Siena and quite like it apartfrom the lack of detail in the sky..

Yes, your pic is very nice. I too noticed the sky, which is TOTALLY blown..

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeinromsey/1621768753/.

Question is should I crop it to remove the sky or do some postprocessing on the sky area? I tried adjusting brightness and contrastbutunfortunately the detail just isn't there! I could add sky fromanother photobut my attempts to do this didn't look natural..

I'd do the latter. Do you like this?.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

I used one of the skys available here:.

Http://www.1derful.info/Pictures/Sky/index.html.

With limited rez, my clumsy attempt is not very good...would be better given a full rez pic to work with..

What should I do to improve this photo?.

It would be interesting to go back and try an HDR shot? When there are heavy shadows with lots of interesting details as in this pic, it's tough to capture all the dynamic range in teh scene with one shot..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #4

Thanks for all your input.I have downloaded the skies and will tryadding these later when I get some free time.My only worry with the sky you added is that it seems topull the eyes away from the street where I think the focus areashould be.Mike..

Comment #5

You did a nice job... but it doesn't look natural because - even if a person doesn't know why - the subconscious realizes that they are looking into a part of the sky where there is glare from the sun and the sky is never that deep blue in that part of the sky in relation to the sun. The sun is just to the right of the added sky and therefore to look more natural the sky should be considerably washed out. The blown out sky is in fact, more natural looking..

I'd do the latter. Do you like this?.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

I used one of the skys available here:.

Http://www.1derful.info/Pictures/Sky/index.html..

Comment #6

How could he have avoided the blown sky in the first place? If he had reduced the exposure, wouldn't that have made the street scene too dark? Is the answer shooting at a low exposure and adjusting with Photoshop? Are there cameras that are less prone to blown skies?..

Comment #7

This picture is marvelous for HDR .

A landscape version:.

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2007 Digital Camera Satisfaction Study:http://www.jdpower.com/electronics/ratings/digital_camera/dslr..

Comment #8

And the picture in question is a perfect example..

Now, there are ways to get around it such as doing multiple exposures and doing a merge to HDR..

Another option is to simply crop the sky out of the composition..

But the best thing to do is plan your shots in advance - when will the light work for you, when will it work against you, and what settings are best shot under cloudy skies. Living in Colorado I see some specatular landscapes that - if you're lucky - get decent light for only minutes a day. This is a good example - Mt. Sopris in Carbondale Colorado - a south facing shot that is almost always washed out in the glare of the sun... except for a few minutes before the sun set (notice how long the shadows on the road are from the weeds). I'm usually at this spot several times a year, but usually during the day.



AndyfromVA wrote:.

How could he have avoided the blown sky in the first place? If hehad reduced the exposure, wouldn't that have made the street scenetoo dark? Is the answer shooting at a low exposure and adjustingwith Photoshop? Are there cameras that are less prone to blown skies?.

Some cool cats that can use your helphttp://www.wildlife-sanctuary.org.

Even if you can't donate, please help spread the word...

Comment #9

Is to use a gradient neutral-density filter. This is usually a square/rectangular filter that is dark on one side and fades to clear. In this shot, even though it was cloudy, the sky was considerably brighter than the landscape and a gradient neutral density filter was used to achieve a better balance. The downside is, this filter only really works where there is a linear demarcation between light and dark - ie, trying to use it in my Mt. Sopris image would have unnaturally darkened the mountain..

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Comment #10

IMac, therefore iAm wrote:.

You did a nice job... but it doesn't look natural because - even if aperson doesn't know why - the subconscious realizes that they arelooking into a part of the sky where there is glare from the sun andthe sky is never that deep blue in that part of the sky in relationto the sun..

If you want to reduce the blue, just desaturate the "sky" layer..

The sun is just to the right of the added sky andtherefore to look more natural the sky should be considerably washedout..

Hmmm... I think the sun is at right angles to the street. That would make the sky rather blue if you get away from the horizon. BTW, the sun is about 92,955,800 miles from the sky... .

The blown out sky is in fact, more natural looking..

Prolly. But since neither of us was there, we should not argue about it. Often I suspect that if you had never seen the original, the added sky would not be as obvious. Here is a 2nd try. I realized that there was a larger version and I toned the sky implant down a bit:.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

With PS you can make the sky look believable....

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #11

Now that sky is more believable. As the buildings at the top of the image are showing glare, the sky should match - I think this second attempt does that...

Comment #12

I agree. I have seen a few HDR shots and the ones of scenery with sky and shadow can look fake..

I'm not saying that they are not good but I get good enough results using RAW and getting the correct exposure for clouds/sky and then PP to adjust my parameters curve to bring out the dark areas. All this on a lowly (some would say) Fuji S6500 which has surprisingly good dynamic range to achieve this..

Cheers..

Comment #13

The latter attempt at replacing the sky is big improvement.Thankyou one and all...

Comment #14

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