Why do you Feel you Need to Finish Your Landscape Images?
“Why do you feel you a need finish your landscape images?” I was asked this question today and it’s really a valid one. Because first and foremost, because I do anything doesn’t mean you need to do the same. To answer the question though, I feel I need to finish my landscape images because my camera has no heart. There are for sure some instances when the camera just can’t capture what the mind’s eye or more importantly the heart saw at that moment of click. There are the technical issues like light range, color and the like which can be dealt with for the most part in post. But then there is the romantic impression of that moment, something a metal beast can’t feel, capture or communicate. I can’t stress enough that I need my landscape images to say, “You need to be here” and not say “I was here.” My landscape photography is a direct off shoot of my wildlife photography. The critters I so love and fight to preserve will only do so if their homes aren’t bulldozed. I get you to love their homes, the landscape they call home, then I get you to preserve the critters. It’s really that simple for me, save the land, save the critters ergo, I need you to fall in love with the landscape. So my landscape images must grab your heartstrings and tug…alot!
In this case, the finishing was real simple. I started with ACR, the same version you’re now enjoying in LR4 and soon to enjoy in CS6 (it’s the same math, different UI). With that, I then used Nik’s CEP4 Tonal Contrast, Split Gradual and then Viveza to pump up the sand in the foreground and I was done. What you see at the top is the after, and the bottom the original image. You might be saying there is nothing wrong with the bottom image. And you’re be right to be honest with you, if there was I wouldn’t have gone click in the first place. Gotta start with the best capture possible to even think about finishing. I finished the image as described because of the reasons I described above. And you don’t have to do any of it. It’s just my preference for the goals I have for my photography.