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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 24 Aug 2013 (Saturday) 10:52
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Salvaging skies ?

 
Amamba
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Aug 24, 2013 10:52 |  #1

Just returned from a trip to the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The weather was gorgeous for most of the week, however on the day that we went on a cruise around Picture Rocks, the day was overcast and the sky was milky-gray.

So, all of the photos taken on that day were low contrast (in part due to using legacy manual focus lenses), and skies looked "blown" (in reality, that's pretty much how they looked in real life). Here's a typical original shot. Not the best one, just the one I got to first.


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I attempted to salvage the sky by using higlight brush set to about -40, lowering global luminocity of blue channel to -7, and increasing blue saturation to +56. Still, the sky looks dark and gray-ish.

An easy way out would be to copy "good" sky from a different photo, but this requires editing every shot in Gimp.

What else could I do to get a more natural looking sky ? I am OK with the way water and rocks came out - this is very close to real life.


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yb98
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Aug 24, 2013 13:51 |  #2

Raw file ?


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Amamba
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Aug 24, 2013 15:41 |  #3

yb98 wrote in post #16236264 (external link)
Raw file ?

Yes, the top shot is of an unprocessed RAW in LR.


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Amamba
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Aug 24, 2013 15:54 |  #4

Kim Johnson Images wrote in post #16236478 (external link)
If you do alot of these, Google how to mask and replace using the alpha channel in PS

1. Mask out out sky, and replace.
2. Duplicate layer set to SCREEN to brighten
3. Curves to add Contrast
4. Layer Option, Inner Glow, Green to dark tips of leaves.

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Thanks, I know how to replace the sky, I was trying to find a way to make the existing sky better.


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yb98
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Aug 24, 2013 16:08 |  #5

Amamba wrote in post #16236469 (external link)
Yes, the top shot is of an unprocessed RAW in LR.

I mean can you upload the raw file...


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Dan ­ Kearley
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Aug 24, 2013 16:35 |  #6

If I've already pulled the highlights all the way down, my next step is to pull back the exposure a bunch and then recover the rest with the shadows slider. If there *is* any info in the highlights, that is.

I think this is a less than ideal method, as it can start looking HDRish.. but works if I have no other options.


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Rimmer
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Aug 24, 2013 16:47 |  #7

You can add some blue tint to your local adjustment brush so that while you're lowering highlights in the sky you add a bit of tint, too. Auto Mask may help to keep the color in the right places. I've been reading a book on color that was written back in the 1920s and is intended for paint artists, but I've found a lot that applies to photography also. For one thing, a natural sky isn't a uniform color or intensity. Near the zenith it will have a slight violet tint (which you can add with a low saturation brush) and near the horizon it may have a slight green tint. Also, the color is deeper at the zenith and less saturated due to atmospheric haze near the horizon. All of these effects are pretty easy to brush in with a little practice. It's amazing how much a little non-uniformity can add to a sense of reality.

By the way, you have some sensor dust that needs to be edited out.


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Amamba
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Aug 24, 2013 18:29 |  #8

yb98 wrote in post #16236498 (external link)
I mean can you upload the raw file...

I am not sure what to upload it to, is there a way ?


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Aug 24, 2013 19:47 |  #9

Amamba wrote in post #16236704 (external link)
I am not sure what to upload it to, is there a way ?

The site I have used was YouSendIt.com but it has been "revamped" to Hightail.com:

https://www.hightail.c​om/ (external link)

I should say, though: I got the impression that the sky was overcast, and if that was the case then you are not going to bring "blue" out of the clouds, at least from the Raw data. You'd want to go into an image editor (Photoshop or Gimp) and add blue to the image.

Now if the clouds had some detail, you can bring that out by setting the Highlights slider all the way back to -100, but sometimes an overcast is just featureless gray/white.


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Kolor-Pikker
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Aug 25, 2013 05:05 |  #10

Raw file or not, those skies aren't blown out, they are just ugly аss gray overcast... there's nothing to recover.

Since the skies are still quite brighter than the environment, it would have taken all of 5 seconds to replace the sky with another in Photoshop, but I have no idea how to do blends in GIMP.
And then it still probably wouldn't look right, because the cliffs/water would still be lit as if there was an overcast sky. Good light isn't something you can just edit into a photo, otherwise everyone'd be doing it.


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yb98
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Aug 25, 2013 05:08 |  #11

May be using linear mode in DPP combined with some particular picture styles, it will be possible to have a better sky...


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Kolor-Pikker
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Aug 25, 2013 05:12 |  #12

yb98 wrote in post #16237757 (external link)
May be using linear mode in DPP combined with some particular picture styles, it will be possible to have a better sky...

I would rather just intentionally blow the sky out, and work on optimizing the contrast of the cliffs, if there's nothing worth seeing in the sky anyway.


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nittaya
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Aug 25, 2013 11:23 as a reply to  @ Kolor-Pikker's post |  #13

here is one attempt. i took the first picture adjusted the white balance and replaced the sky with a another cloudy sky. did little bit of level adjustment and dodge and burning as well.


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nutbolt
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Aug 25, 2013 21:27 |  #14

Amamba....

Try pulling the highlight slider down pretty far...about -80 or so....then in the tone curve section pull the highlights slider up to the positive side....+15-20.

Then try RAISING the blue luminance....not lowering it...i've had decent results with this method.

To fine tune it...you might draw a gradient filter at a 45 degree angle over the sky....basically along the tree/rock line. Then use the "color" thingy (at the bottom of the gradient panel panel) to adjust the sky color. I find somewhere between 215 and 230 usually looks pretty good.

Gotta admit tho...Nittaya's edit is REALLY sweet!

Maybe that will help a bit.


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ralff
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Aug 26, 2013 04:59 |  #15

Bad day for photos, really not a lot you can do but minimize the sky in your frame, and/or replace the sky IMO.


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Salvaging skies ?
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