Photo fixer

Practical Photography (UK) - - October - By Jamie Brake

PP’s pro im­age edi­tor Dan Mold re­touches a se­lec­tion of your pic­tures.

Dan says: The gnarly Old Man of Storr is the per­fect fo­cal point for Jamie’s Isle of Skye land­scape – it’s packed with heaps of tex­ture and grit. The com­po­si­tion works well with Jamie fol­low­ing the rule-of-thirds to po­si­tion the ‘Old Man’ a third in from the top right cor­ner. The rocky tow­ers reach high into the sky and loom over the hori­zon and, with the fore­ground tak­ing up the bot­tom two thirds of the frame and sky dom­i­nat­ing the top third, it’s well bal­anced too.

It can be dif­fi­cult to achieve a bal­anced ex­po­sure when you have a dark fore­ground and bright back­ground, as is of­ten the case with land­scapes. Some patches of the sky have clipped to pure white in Jamie’s sky here, so it’d be worth us­ing a soft or hard grad­u­ated neu­tral den­sity (ND) fil­ter to stop this hap­pen­ing, or shoot a bracket of shots and merge them to­gether to cre­ate a high dy­namic range (HDR) im­age. Luck­ily, Jamie shot in the RAW file for­mat which con­tains ex­tra ex­po­sure in­for­ma­tion. Re­work­ing the RAW means that we can re­store some de­tail in these clipped ar­eas (see Photo Fix panel).

To make the sky more dra­matic it could also be worth try­ing out a long ex­po­sure by us­ing a fil­ter such as a 10-stop ND to block out light. This would keep static sub­jects like the Old Man of Storr pin-sharp but ren­der mov­ing sub­jects, like the sky, as a dy­namic blur. We’ve mim­icked the ef­fect us­ing Pho­to­shop and you can find out more on page 82 to try this ef­fect on your land­scapes.

This is a bel­ter of a shot, taken to the top of its game with some sim­ple RAW ad­just­ments. Great work!

BE­FORE High­lights are just start­ing to clip to pure white Mo­tion in the sky would add im­pact

AF­TER

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