Sunday, November 14, 2010

Threatening clouds approaching the lake

It was a hazy day on the Iseo lake, and dark clouds were approaching the lakeshore.
Sometimes it seems that the haze has the will to embrace everything...

I find these kind of photos easy to take, but hard to "develop". They tend to have few colors, and a lot of grays and shades. Usually my first intent is to try to render the hazy atmosphere of the day, but it doesn't always works... so in this shot I tried a more dramatic interpretation, trying to put emphasis on the line of the hills, the waves, and the approaching clouds.

To do this required a bit of work: balancing the lights and the shadows isn't easy so the final result is achieved thanks to some local filtering: a bit of brightness on the water, a lot of contrast on the sky, a "hard" tone curve, a local emphasis on the right "curling" cloud, some grain and a bit of vignetting to make the central part of the photo stand out.

Critical comments are welcome :-)


  1. Firstly this image is great! I love the mid-tones that you have decided to use on it while still portraying the outline of the hills.

    I just switched to LightRoom3 for my editing software and as a long time Photshop user, I find it much easier to use. I say this because you mention that it's hard to develop these kinds of photos and I agree. However LR3 has made it much easier to isolate aspects of a photograph without having to mess with layering like photoshop.

    Also you can save presests in LR3 that allow you to just select that preset and mass develop photos for consistency.

    If you haven't tried LR3, I suggest you do, it's amazing software.


  2. @Nik: Thanks a lot! :)
    I'm totally with you about Lightroom 3. I'm trying it and it's much better than previous SW combo I've tried in the past (Gimp alone, DPP/RAW + Gimp)

    Thinking to old software just remembered me my first 'true' photo retouching software: Aldus Photostyler 2.0, running on Win 3.11 on my second computer (Olidata 486 DX 33MHz, 120Mb HDD, 8Mb RAM) it was about 18 years ago. What a time! Today my computer ia a quad core, running at 3300MHz, with 8Gb of ram, and an obscene amount of HDD storage.

    After 18 years of IT evolution: MHz speed got bumped by a 100x factor; Ram got 1000 time bigger, HDD size grow by more than 33'333 times... WOW, time is flying guys!

  3. @Nik: I forgot to tell you that your website is very nice, there are a lot of beautiful photos.