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I’ve been inspired by photo blogs like Shoot Montana (now Run Toward the Light), Photography Journal Blog , Decaseconds | HDR Photography and retireediary (among others) to try make my mediocre photos a bit less mediocre.

Passing through Montana recently I shot this:


I tried some Photoshop jujutsu and came up with this:


I like the lower shot better, but maybe I went too far.

What do you think?

No matter which you prefer: Montana!


Image credit: Kirk LIvingston

Written by kirkistan

October 20, 2013 at 5:00 am

10 Responses

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  1. Thanks for the ping back and kind words! I like them both, but I’m also a sucker for dramatic skies and I think you’ve done a good job pulling out the details of the clouds in the second image.


    October 20, 2013 at 7:46 am

    • I think it was the dramatic skies that made me pull my camera out in the first place. Montana has no end of dramatic skies. Working at bringing out the clouds was my first goal and I’ve got lots of room to grow. Thanks for your comment!


      October 20, 2013 at 9:05 am

      • If you use Photoshop, have you made friends with the Curves tool? (Layers, add Adjustment Layer, Curves) It gives you incredibly fine tuned control of shadows and highlights.


        October 20, 2013 at 9:33 am

      • I’ve not made friends with that tool. I like how you say that: my experience with Photoshop is to slowly begin to understand–tool-by-tool–what they can do. I’ll give it a look. Thanks.


        October 20, 2013 at 9:36 am

  2. I like the lower one best. I also prefer the way the world looks to me through my sunglasses – colors are more vivid. That’s how your bottom photo looks to me 🙂


    October 20, 2013 at 8:16 am

    • Agreed and thanks for the reply. As I compare the two, what I saw was something between them.


      October 20, 2013 at 9:02 am

  3. […] The eye is tricky and perception is problematic: what I believe I saw was different from the photo I took and the photo I (clumsily) retouched. Which of the photos was real—or was real something entirely […]

  4. Thanks for the ping back, I appreciate it 🙂 I do prefer your second version. The grass is really nice there. I would have done the sky differently maybe, it looks a bit too purple on my monitor. That’s all a matter of opinion though. I’m thinking I would have just done a separate levels adjustment on just the sky. Montana is just beautiful!

    Photography Journal Blog

    October 21, 2013 at 8:25 am

    • No you are right: it was too purple on my monitor as well. I did a couple separate adjustments, and honestly I’m just learning the tools. Sonya (comment above) pointed me toward the Curves tool which I used briefly and (sort of) understood. Your work with saturation was inspiring as a beginning point. Thanks for visiting.


      October 21, 2013 at 8:50 am

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