How far do you go?

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Terri, this is overprocessed. :)

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Terri, I think you've done a masterful job with this scene. I tried to follow along and I found it challenging because A) I wasn't working with a RAW file and B) there was only the one exposure. In the end, Nik seemed to get me the farthest along. I applied 3 different effects, used some luminosity masks and finished off with a color lookup adjustment layer (crisp warm) out of Photoshop. I deviated from your example just a bit in deepening the shadows, leaving a little more intensity in the highlights and giving a more directional feel to the illumination. Thanks for posting this. It's a wonderful image.

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Personally I don't think a photo is processed too far, unless the person editing it thinks its gone too far. It's your photo, you should do with it whatever make you happy.

Half the fun of the final image is the post processing. For me, I don't have the hang up of, does it look like this in real life. I not about documenting anything accurately. I'm not documenting a war and these images will be in history books, so they better be accurate. I'm all about making the final image look as good as it can, for me. The final image doesn't have to look anything like what I saw. I always try to make it look better than what was there.

For these examples, Terri, the processed image is much better for me. I would say, if it were me, I would try to push it even further. I would saturate the moss on the trees more. I would dodge and burn the lighting like crazy and make it more moody. So for me, it's not pushed too far at all. I say have fun with it.

But if you think it's too far, than it's too far. Otherwise, push it like crazy until you say, um that's too far. Then pull back a bit.

Enjoy!
I'll give your suggestions a try!! I like to see what I can do with a "throw away" photo and see if I can make something out of it!!
 
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My take. I think the first one has too much black - look at levels.
View attachment 1623662

I took your processed image and just slid the mid level slider over a but to darken the midtones. That is the way I would leave it, but that is just me. I like your colors and saturation.
View attachment 1623663
Nice suggestion. Isn't it great how many ways a photo can be interpreted.
 
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Terri, I think you've done a masterful job with this scene. I tried to follow along and I found it challenging because A) I wasn't working with a RAW file and B) there was only the one exposure. In the end, Nik seemed to get me the farthest along. I applied 3 different effects, used some luminosity masks and finished off with a color lookup adjustment layer (crisp warm) out of Photoshop. I deviated from your example just a bit in deepening the shadows, leaving a little more intensity in the highlights and giving a more directional feel to the illumination. Thanks for posting this. It's a wonderful image.

View attachment 1623689
This looks great. I'm glad you had fun with it. I need to learn about luminosity masks. I recently saw that Matt Klowskowski has a new class all about it. Maybe I'll check out youtube and see what is available for free there. You really added an extra dimension to this photo!!
 
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This looks great. I'm glad you had fun with it.
Here is where to find them:
1. Image/Adjustments/Shadows/Highlights.
2. Image/Adjustments/Photo Filter.
Here is a version the same as before but with Photo Filter using the default 25% warming (given that people say the forest is a warmer tone)

View attachment 1623664
I'm so grateful for your information. I especially liked playing with that Shadow/Highlights image adjustment. I could get different results than I was getting in Lightroom and it's shadow and highlights sliders.
 
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Terri, I think your treatment is about ideal, and is what I would have tried for. I've been to rain forests in the Pacific NW (and Central America, and Australia) and I have a pretty good idea what they look like. I think your processing captures it accurately while also presenting us with a beautiful, dreamy, scene.

Our cameras cannot capture what our eyes see except in rare circumstances, and especially not in high dynamic range scenes like this. It is our job to take what the camera gives us and try to recreate what our eyes saw. You've done a good job of that here.
 
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Terri, I think your treatment is about ideal, and is what I would have tried for. I've been to rain forests in the Pacific NW (and Central America, and Australia) and I have a pretty good idea what they look like. I think your processing captures it accurately while also presenting us with a beautiful, dreamy, scene.

Our cameras cannot capture what our eyes see except in rare circumstances, and especially not in high dynamic range scenes like this. It is our job to take what the camera gives us and try to recreate what our eyes saw. You've done a good job of that here.
Thanks, Jim. It's so interesting how many ways it can be interpreted. There are always new things to learn and skills to develop. It's what makes the hobby fun for me!!
 
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Terri:
If you are shooting RAW, on a Nikon, you have at least a further f-stop of head-room in the Highlights than the in-camera Histogram indicates. (This is not the case if you shoot JPGs).

I would suggest that you change the meter settings to +0.6 EV in the menu as your regular setting; and use the ±EV button manually to over-ride for special conditions.

I think that your original shots in the forest were about one stop under-exposed which is why they needed so much work at the processing stage?

The trouble with under-exposing and then trying to open-up the shadows later is that it results in much more noise.
 
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Terri:
If you are shooting RAW, on a Nikon, you have at least a further f-stop of head-room in the Highlights than the in-camera Histogram indicates. (This is not the case if you shoot JPGs).

I would suggest that you change the meter settings to +0.6 EV in the menu as your regular setting; and use the ±EV button manually to over-ride for special conditions.

I think that your original shots in the forest were about one stop under-exposed which is why they needed so much work at the processing stage?

The trouble with under-exposing and then trying to open-up the shadows later is that it results in much more noise.
I will try that!! Thanks. I've always tried to protect the highlights. I always shoot raw.
 
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The trouble with under-exposing and then trying to open-up the shadows later is that it results in much more noise.

And the trouble with over exposing is that lost highlights are forever lost. No amount of post-processing will recover them. Really dark shadows may have a bit of noise but at iso 100, where most landscape photos are made, Nikon cameras have very little. And there are some good programs out there which do an amazing job of removing noise.

But there are no programs that can restore lost highlights. I much prefer to err on the side of caution to avoid lost highlights.
 
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This landscape photo and others at Quinalt were made at much higher ISO. We had to drive a long way to get to Quinalt plus we wanted to do sunset at Ruby Beach. So we had about one hour to see the rainforest. We just hiked through as fast as we could and I tried to take a few shots along the way. Considering the amount of effort I put into taking these photos, I'm pretty happy with the results. It was so dark in there that some were at ISO 3200. I probably wouldn't print them large, but for web viewing and family enjoyment they worked out great.
 
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This landscape photo and others at Quinalt were made at much higher ISO. We had to drive a long way to get to Quinalt plus we wanted to do sunset at Ruby Beach. So we had about one hour to see the rainforest. We just hiked through as fast as we could and I tried to take a few shots along the way. Considering the amount of effort I put into taking these photos, I'm pretty happy with the results. It was so dark in there that some were at ISO 3200. I probably wouldn't print them large, but for web viewing and family enjoyment they worked out great.
I was thinking "tripod" when I said iso 100, but I certainly understand why you didn't have one in this case. Nevertheless, I see no noise in your posted image. A busy scene helps :D.
My suggestion still holds. I still think blown highlights is a much more serious problem than noise in shadow areas, but that's just my approach.
 
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I was thinking "tripod" when I said iso 100, but I certainly understand why you didn't have one in this case. Nevertheless, I see no noise in your posted image. A busy scene helps :D.
My suggestion still holds. I still think blown highlights is a much more serious problem than noise in shadow areas, but that's just my approach.
That has always been my approach, too, although I have heard that modern sensors can have more highlights recovered. It might be worth an experiment!!
 
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