This photo is the perfect reminder why I only shoot RAW format. I embraced RAW from the moment I bought my first camera which supported raw (Canon Rebel). When I opened the first raw photo in Photoshop and I saw its potential compared to JPEG I was convinced immediately and I never looked back.
The¬†only time I switch a camera to JPEG mode is when I shoot¬†sports.
The day I took the featured photo I spent the entire afternoon shooting water polo in Berkley and when after the games I decided¬†to go to¬†Marin Headlands for the sunset, I completely forgot to switch my camera from JPEG back to RAW.
I only noticed the problem when I started to process photos back home. I could not edit this image the way I intended because every time I wanted to apply stronger contrast or more aggressive color correction image would start to break up by revealing ugly¬†banding. I had to settle for less aggressive¬†processing
Even though it was middle of May it was very chilly¬†at Marin Headlands with strong wind bringing the cold fog from the ocean to the bay. I had to put on every piece of clothing I had in my car, but it did not help. Then I had to fight the wind while setting up the tripod and trying to keep it steady while shooting.
I took 3 bracketed shots with 1EV intervals (-1, 0, +1) on a tripod.
I started with Rapid Lightroom Preset-Based Editing (read my tutorial here), applying¬†Natural preset from¬†Landscape Collection¬†and adjusting the exposure (image was underexposed) with the ToolKit. But I was not happy with the result, I wanted to convey the cold feeling of the scene by adding blue color.
In the Basic Panel, I set the White Balance Temperature to -19, shifting the entire white balance of the image towards¬†the blue color.
In Photoshop, besides regular editing (contrast, color correction, noise reduction) I moved sail boat a few inched up using transparency masks. Also, I did a lot of cleaning with the Stamp Tool by removing distracting elements (white waves) and completely removing a motor¬†boat.
The Original Image
Deconstructing Featured Photo
Tripod:¬†FEISOL Tournament¬†CT-3442¬†¬†‚Äď¬†Check my¬†FEISOL Tournament CT-3442¬†Review.
Processing: Lightroom Preset Based Workflow
Lightroom:¬†import, tagging, cropping, preset based processing (Naturaal¬†preset from¬†Landscape Collection). White Balance adjustments.
Photoshop: contrast, color correction, cleaning with the help of the Stamp Tool.¬†I moved the sailboat up and erased motor boat completely.
- Topaz DeNoise¬†was used to reduce digital noise (sky, water).
- Topaz Clarity¬†was used to enhance details and boost colors (bridge).