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  • The problem of blown out skies

    I am sure you can see my clumsy editing on this shot. I liked the picture expect for the sky which was white in the original. This is quite common so I am trying to work out an effective way of fixing it in PS Elements but this is the best I can do to date.
    Any tips would be much appreciated especially about selecting effectively around trees.
    thanks
    spl

    "My own suspicion is that the universe is not only stranger than we suppose, but stranger than we can suppose."
    --John Haldane

  • #2
    Re: The problem of blown out skies

    I'm sure you will get some help re the sky shortly but meanwhile...
    I think those reflections are superb.
    -------------------------

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The problem of blown out skies

      Sue, can you attach an unadjusted version of this picture, perhaps as a 1000pixel high attachment, just so we can see what the raw material is so to speak.

      My own feeling is that usually trying to make selections, especially round trees is a complete waste of time. I would prefer often to underexpose to get detail in the sky, then try and lift the shadow area. Sometimes you can make a square marquee selection over the sky area, then feather it by 150-200 pix. Using levels or Curves you can often put some detail back in the sky then without affecting the rest of the scene.

      In your picture it appears there are patches of blue sky and cloud in the reflections, so its unfortunate you can't get themin the sky area
      Stephen

      sigpic

      Check out my BLOG too


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      • #4
        Re: The problem of blown out skies

        Thanks Pops and Stephen

        I will try to dig out the original tonight. I think your advice about underexposing sounds like a good idea. I am not really too worried about the clouds not showing in the sky as they do in the water becuase if my memory serves me the clouds were being reflected from a different part of the sky anyhow and the bit of sky that was in the picture was more homogenous anyhow. Its the selection round the trees which bothers me though becuase as is quite obvious I had to overlap the edges of the trees and darken these along with the sky. I guess I am just going to have to accept these is no quick fix for this apart from doing a pixel by pixel selection which is far too time consuming.
        "My own suspicion is that the universe is not only stranger than we suppose, but stranger than we can suppose."
        --John Haldane

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The problem of blown out skies

          Originally posted by spl View Post
          Thanks Pops and Stephen

          I will try to dig out the original tonight. I think your advice about underexposing sounds like a good idea. I am not really too worried about the clouds not showing in the sky as they do in the water becuase if my memory serves me the clouds were being reflected from a different part of the sky anyhow and the bit of sky that was in the picture was more homogenous anyhow. Its the selection round the trees which bothers me though becuase as is quite obvious I had to overlap the edges of the trees and darken these along with the sky. I guess I am just going to have to accept these is no quick fix for this apart from doing a pixel by pixel selection which is far too time consuming.
          In all honesty, if the sky is completely blown out, then you are wasting your time anyway, as there would be no information to lift.
          A couple of tricks I sometime do is either to slightly underexpose the shot, at the time of taking the picture, as a kind of trade off to get sky detail, and detail in the trees, then a slight tweek using shadow/highlight.

          Alternatively, if you select the area above the trees, make a layer using this, then use the gradient tool, this can create a nice effect, which you can either make look unnatural, or natural depending on your taste.

          If you want to get really clever though, you would need to take two shots, metering for the sky, then the trees, and amalgamate (spelling?) the two.


          I have attached a very quick example of using the gradient tool. As you can see, it is totally fake looking, but it can sometimes be used to good effect by reducing the opacity of the layer.
          Attached Files
          sigpic

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          • #6
            Re: The problem of blown out skies

            Originally posted by coupekid View Post
            In all honesty, if the sky is completely blown out, then you are wasting your time anyway, as there would be no information to lift.
            A couple of tricks I sometime do is either to slightly underexpose the shot, at the time of taking the picture, as a kind of trade off to get sky detail, and detail in the trees, then a slight tweek using shadow/highlight.

            Alternatively, if you select the area above the trees, make a layer using this, then use the gradient tool, this can create a nice effect, which you can either make look unnatural, or natural depending on your taste.

            If you want to get really clever though, you would need to take two shots, metering for the sky, then the trees, and amalgamate (spelling?) the two.


            I have attached a very quick example of using the gradient tool. As you can see, it is totally fake looking, but it can sometimes be used to good effect by reducing the opacity of the layer.
            Fake looking it may well be but it suits this shot. I love the pose of the wolf..seems to be eying up his next meal
            -------------------------

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The problem of blown out skies

              Try also adding 1% grain to the image, then increase contrast again for the shadow (as grain will decrease overall contrast).

              The 2nd shot is by copy the bottom half on a seperate layer, then flip image vertically, use colour burn to add the colour of the reflection in the sky, a little more work is needed to tidy it up.

              Danny
              Attached Files

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              • #8
                Re: The problem of blown out skies

                Thanks you for all your useful ideas and suggestions. I will certainly print this out and give some the techniques suggested here a try for myself. The detail Danny achieved in the sky was really impressive although the trees did still look a bit ragged. I am attaching the original for Stephen - hope the size is adequate - I down loaded the original pic into the gallery which I think automatically down sizes as the original was bigger than 250K

                "My own suspicion is that the universe is not only stranger than we suppose, but stranger than we can suppose."
                --John Haldane

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The problem of blown out skies

                  It would have been better as an attachment really Sue. No matter though, its clear what the problem is and I can only repeat earlier suggestions about underexposing for the sky.
                  Stephen

                  sigpic

                  Check out my BLOG too


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                  • #10
                    Re: The problem of blown out skies

                    Originally posted by spl View Post
                    Thanks you for all your useful ideas and suggestions. I will certainly print this out and give some the techniques suggested here a try for myself. The detail Danny achieved in the sky was really impressive although the trees did still look a bit ragged. I am attaching the original for Stephen - hope the size is adequate - I down loaded the original pic into the gallery which I think automatically down sizes as the original was bigger than 250K
                    Hi spl, you have reproduced the 'medium' sized version, which is resized, from your gallery. If you click on the medium sized version in your gallery you can see the larger size.

                    Danny's result would have been less ragged if he had been able to work on a larger version.

                    Ian
                    Founder/editor
                    Digital Photography Now (DPNow.com)
                    Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
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                    • #11
                      Re: The problem of blown out skies

                      Thanks for all your help and suggestions - still getting used to the gallery system Ian so didn't realise I had options - I am going to post both options now to compare the results for myself so please ignore them. the second one is the same as the first except its got the word medium in it.



                      "My own suspicion is that the universe is not only stranger than we suppose, but stranger than we can suppose."
                      --John Haldane

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The problem of blown out skies

                        The first is 800x600 pix and 75kb and the second is 600x450 and is 45 kb
                        "My own suspicion is that the universe is not only stranger than we suppose, but stranger than we can suppose."
                        --John Haldane

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The problem of blown out skies

                          Originally posted by spl View Post
                          The first is 800x600 pix and 75kb and the second is 600x450 and is 45 kb
                          Well, here's my take on it SPL!

                          Hope you approve.
                          Attached Files
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: The problem of blown out skies

                            I love how you managed the sky in this and in the wolf shot. .. something for me work with on a rainy day.
                            In this case it seems to contradict the reflection somewhat.
                            -------------------------

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: The problem of blown out skies

                              Originally posted by Pops View Post
                              I love how you managed the sky in this and in the wolf shot. .. something for me work with on a rainy day.
                              In this case it seems to contradict the reflection somewhat.
                              Your absolutely right about it contradicting the reflection. As I suspected though, there is no information to recover in the sky, so sadly its a case of leaving it as is, or inserting a simlar sky, (which would be quite an undertaking with trees) as an alternative to what I have done.
                              sigpic

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