2009-03-07

Monument Valley

Monument ValleyMonument Valley, Arizona, 2007

This photo was taken at sunset. I remember the sun was struggling to break through the clouds on the horizon. It was really frustrating. I had come all the way to Monument Valley to get a shot of the mittens at sunset, and the light was completely flat. Then the sun came out for a few minutes. I was able to get some good shadows in the photo plus some dramatic looking sky. After that the sun went back behind the clouds, and that was it for the day.

The first thing I do for any conversion is apply color correction. This gives me a good foundation from which to do the black and white conversion. For this photo I used two separate conversions. I first selected the sky with the magic wand tool to create a mask. I saved the selection so that I could use it again. With the sky selected I converted the sky using Channel Mixer, going heavy on the red channel. Then I reloaded the mask, inverted it, and converted the ground using the B&W layer simulating a green filter. Then I centered the histogram by moving the midpoint in Levels and boosted contrast using Curves. The sky was still looking washed out so I reloaded the sky mask and adjusted the midpoint using Levels again. The final step was to sharpen the image using the highpass overly method.

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