In yesterday’s post [MBTA PCCs with a Cotton Candy Sky] I described my philosophy and technique with regards to working with a RAW file to maintain a high-level of detail with a textured sky.
With today’s post, I’ve selected a similar image as another example of how I’ve implemented adjustments using the program Lightroom.
The final image is intended as an ‘over the top’ example of how to create a fantasy image from a RAW file. I’m neither endorsing nor condemning photo fantasies, (they appear often enough on the internet), but simply describing one method of producing this result, as well as my interpretation of the scene as I saw it.
However, if this image helps save the Mattapan-Ashmont trolley from extinction, then I’m all for fantasy!
The sky can make all the difference in a photograph. However, often the way a modern camera presents exposure tends to push sky detail toward over exposure (that means its too light).
The result is a washed out sky that loses all the color and detail that made the scene interesting.
Thankfully, with careful exposure and post processing manipulation of a RAW file, it is easy enough to balance sky detail with the primary subject.
I made these photos the other day at Mattapan during a visit with Tim and Will Doherty and Pat Yough. All were exposed using my FujiFilm X-T1 with a Zeiss 12mm Touit lens
I processed the photos using Lightroom (an Adobe program that allows for easy adjustment of the the RAW files).
My first move was to digitally introduce a graduated neutral density filter across the sky to locally adjust contrast and exposure with an emphasis on retaining highlight detail. Next I lightened shadows and adjusted mid-tone detail with the clarity sliders.
My intent was to recreate the scene. It would be easy enough to create a total fantasy using these tools. That balance is purely subjective.
Tomorrow I’ll present a more dramatic example complete with ‘fantasy’ treatment. Stay tuned!