Sunset manipulation…

So, I don’t know what the rules are of posting befores vs afters??? But I wanted to share one of mine with you (to get advise and input etc.) – – – seeing that I am seriously wanting to learn and improve on the little knowledge I have of photography and editing.

I took this photo on 24 December 2010 at my mom’s home at Hartbeespoort Dam (South Africa), the sky/sunset was just to beautiful to resist – – – I mean… we all love sunsets don’t we? I really actually love the photo without the editing, but today I had a sudden itch to see what more I can do with the photo. I am a fan of editing (even the most wrong photo can be turned into a right with the right editing), but when it comes to my own photographs, I try to get the original photo as near to perfect (to me) as I can. It’s a challenge with no filters and only a 18-55mm standard lens, but I enjoy learning.

I adjusted the levels slightly and the colour balance to get a dramatic looking sky. Here are the results:

Without edit ~ ISO 200 ~ f/4 ~ 1/2000 sec ~ 25mm ~

The After - - - With a little bit of photoshop!!!

What do you think?? **

18 thoughts on “Sunset manipulation…

  1. Bethany L Ferrell

    I prefer the edited version… 🙂 Usually, I don’t utilize editing tools, and I completely prefer getting it right in camera. Sunsets can be challenging, and this one obviously faired better with some photoshop!!

    1. xandreverkes Post author

      Thank you so much!!! Yes, we do have a truly astoundingly beautiful country!!! And the breathtaking sunsets are not scarce!!! Thanks for visiting my blog!!! 🙂 **

  2. melissa

    That’s a lovely picture, I think both versions are great but I like when photos are slightly edited. Often for my pictures I just auto correct the color levels because sometimes a camera can’t take in all the color, and just by doing that I find it looks more like what I wanted from the photo.

    I also didn’t realize you’re from South Africa? That’s so cool! Africa is one of the next places I’d love to visit! You’ll have to give me tips on what to see when I plan it 🙂

    1. xandreverkes Post author

      Yes!!! You should come visit!! Shamefully I haven’t been to any other countries in Africa!!! But I can assure you South Africa is nothing that you expect… and super beautiful!!! So, let me know when you start planning!! 😀 **

  3. hmunro

    I think you did a great job of gently adjusting your photo to give it more visual impact. The color balance is pleasing and your clouds have a bit more density, especially near the horizon. In short: Nice work!

  4. Claire

    Lovely sunset!! I feel like Photoshop’s the norm nowadays, so I don’t feel too bad about editing my photographs. It’s all part of the creative process 😀

  5. dennisguichard

    I prefer the second one with the slightly deep blues in the sky.

    You HAVE to post-process digital images as camera’s will always strive to balance the exposure striving for 18% grey and the anti-alias filter will always soften the image. Anyone can push a button on a modern digital camera and get a half-decent image so it’s ultimately in the post-processing that you define your ‘style’ and squeeze maximum impact out of any image, it’s where the ‘art’ of photography happens, even if all you’re doing at a basic level is adjusting levels and curves, contrast, a bit of saturation and some sharpening.

    You have to ‘see’ the image in your mind’s eye and of course you have to ‘capture’ it correctly / adequately but ultimately EVERY professional photograph goes through Photoshop (or other editing program) to some degree, it’s where the magic happens, anything else is just point-and-shoot.

    1. xandreverkes Post author

      I’ve never quite thought of it in that sense!!! Thank you so much for the advise and insight!!! Love learning!!! and thank you for visiting my blog…. much appreciated!!! 🙂 **

  6. Cornelis Verwaal

    Nice job on the Photoshop edit. Post-processing is akin to what we used to do in the darkroom when making a print from a negative. There was always some adjustment involved in getting a balanced image. So I’m all for using Photoshop or similar software to enhance a picture. The camera does not always get it right. I this case both shots are very appealing, but the edited one carries a bigger punch.

  7. dennisguichard

    Cornelis is absolutely correct – in the old days photographers were revered for their skills in seeing, capturing and creating sensational imagery and their true skill and creativity was brought about by them spending HOURS in a darkroom dodging and burning, mixing chemicals and playing with a myriad of creative techniques to produce a finished product or beautiful piece of artwork.

    In the modern day camera manufacturers have led us to believe that we can produce the same magic by putting a camera on automatic and just pushing a button, but we’re all slowly learning that this is quite untrue. The realism is returning that the ultimate skill and creativity of a photographer is still borne in their ability to see, capture and create albeit in the new digital (Photoshop) darkroom doing dodging and burning, messing about with layers and different blend modes, adjusting levels and curves, adjusting contrast, sharpening etc.

    Photography is a creative art form and if anyone wants to get better at it then that learning path has to also include improving their skills in that digital darkroom. A photograph is not really finished until it has been adequately post-processed, or enhanced if you prefer to call it that.

    Just reading all the comments on your Blog it’s interesting how most people prefer your processed image over the original, neither are of course either right or wrong but the processed image of course just seems to have more impact hey?

    Keep playing and experimenting with your post-processing software, you’ll find your photography improving tenfold and your creative voice ultimately starting to emerge through it.


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