I can just hear you think: “Pff… That guy is ranting all the time about how not to overdo it with the saturation sliders and all, and look at him, totally out of control there!”
But no. I wasn’t. What you see here, is pretty much what I saw out there. It was beautiful. It was breath-taking. It was like the sky was ignited. I took the last image from the previous blog post. Check it out from the screenshots below, and you’ll see that I didn’t touch the saturation sliders to saturate the colors. I even DEsaturated the blues slightly.
D700, ISO200, 1/20sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm.
What you see above here is the original. The untouched, unedited RAW file. I underexposed it on purpose, because I didn’t want to blow out the shades in and around the sun. Shooting in RAW will give you so much leverage that you can easily underexpose with a few stops without the risk of screwing up your image.
I imported the image in Lightroom, where I tweaked it slightly. The screenshot below shows I didn’t touch the saturation sliders. Just the lens correction, some fill light and some clarity, which made the image look like this:
The original image after some minor adjustments in Lightroom
After that I opened it up in Photoshop. The first thing I did was pull up a curves adjustment layer and gave it some more contrast:
A curves adjustment layer to give the image a bit more contrast for that little punch
See what that does to the color? This would almost go for a saturation increase, wouldn’t it? That’s what contrast typically does to a picture, it gives it that little extra punch that makes it from flat into… well… flamboyant 😀
The next thing I did, that’s a personal thing, I guess, is desaturate the snow at the bottom. Even if the dark clouds above reflected their deep blue hue in the snow, and it really looked blue, I don’t really fancy it. So I made that look a lot less blue (as I did in all the images from the previous blog post. I think in the first one it shows most clearly).
A hue/saturation adjustment layer including layer mask to desaturate the blue tone from the snow in the bottom part of the image.
And finally a levels adjustment layer, also for the snow at the bottom part, to lighten it up a bit so it didn’t look too grey. Be careful not to lighten it up too much, otherwise it’ll look unnatural with the rest of the image.
A levels adjustment layer to brighten up the snow a tad bit, so that it doesn't look grey after desaturating the blue.
So there you have it. The end result. No out of control saturation stuff. Just the way it was. And gorgeous it was! Worth withstanding the cold every second.
D700, ISO200, 1/20 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm