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Sedona and Monument Valley

Photo By Garry Lester
Pro Critique
This is a striking example of dramatic rock and dramatic sky. One small improvement would be to show more detail in the deep shadows of the lower right. In the pre-computer day, balancing the sky with the dark pines and shadows of the foreground might be accomplished with a graduated neutral density filter. Such a filter can still help reduce the amount of after capture adjustment work. Without a grad filter, it’s preferable to choose an exposure that leans towards the clouds, but keeps the shadows as open as possible. That way, in the computer you can “burn” the clouds and “dodge” the shadows to arrive at a pleasing balance that retains as much detail as possible across the image. Rather a few cloud edges blow out a bit than the foreground plugs up.

Lightroom 2 Tip
Gain Perspective With Before/After View
When applying adjustments to your images using the various controls in the Develop module, it’s easy to lose sight of how far you've taken the image. To get a better perspective on the adjustments you've applied and make a more informed decision about what adjustments you might want to change or add to achieve the final result, use the Before/After view. In the Develop module, click the downward-pointing triangle next to the Before/After view button below the preview image. You can choose from options to have the before and after versions displayed to the left and right or top and bottom, and also choose whether you want to see the full version of both images or to see a single image split between the before and after versions. You also can use the three Before/After buttons to apply the adjustments from the before version to the after version, or vice versa, or to swap the two versions.

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