What to do with a flat gray photo
I am in no way an expert on photo editing. But for today’s After Before Friday I thought I would show how I tried to rescue this photo of the Cape Blanco lighthouse.
Shooting photos in flat gray conditions is hard, really hard. We pulled into the Cape Blanco state park campground on Monday evening. It was fast getting dark so we parked and walked down to the beach. Not only was it a gray sky, it was blowing really hard too. I wanted a photo of the lighthouse, even though it was off in the distance. It was just so awesome the way it was lit.
This is my photo after editing.
I used my long lens, but I didn’t have my tripod. The wind was really blowing so I tried to brace against something. The photo did not turn out very good. Here is the original.
First I cropped it to best part, got rid of the cell phone tower and power poles. Then the interesting part began. I messed around with sliders in Lightroom on this photo forever. What worked the best was using dehaze. I tried to make the photo work keeping it color but that didn’t work at all. I decided black and white was the way to go. I wanted to keep the yellow of the light though, so I took all the color sliders all the way down, except yellow. I then adjusted the blacks and whites a little bit to bring more detail out. The mist along the bottom of the cliff was too much so I used an adjustment brush and just darkened that part of the image. Because the image had noise, I used the noise reduction luminance and adjusted to soften the whole image.
It came out pretty OK, better than the original for sure.
To see what everyone else has done today, head over to Aperture64.