Clarens district, Free State, South Africa
Typically, I’m a big skies guy. In terms of landscape photography something that really impresses me are big skies. It’s in my genes – environmentally anyway. I grew up with big skies. If it wasn’t time spent on beaches around South Africa or England’s East coast, then it was time spent hiking across the Drakensberg, travelling through the Lowveld and time spent living in Montreal and the few trips we made there as we headed out into the countryside near the city. It was big skies all the way.
These big skies are in marked contrast to where I’m living now. Hong Kong seems to be currently experiencing another of its now famous “3 days of sunshine a month” years – as in this perpetual grayness of overcast and fog-bound skies. This is life at the moment – as in the cards so drawn.
This particular image was taken in while on a recent trip to South Africa. We were travelling through the southern Free State where we stopped at vantage point. While there may be nothing remarkable in the original image, what we have here was more or less done in post-processing. Not that anything was added, mind you. Just the bending of a few curves here and there.
A month or so ago I downloaded Photoshop CS6 to try it out. I was impressed with what I saw there but, this may be a blog for another time. In fruitling around with CS6, I pulled up this image to see what was new on the HDR side of things. I’ve yet to get into this whole HDR move – as in taking multiple exposures and the rest. This was a single image and, needless to say, didn’t quite fit into the scheme of things.
Out of the box, one of my favourite tools in CS is the Shadows/Highlight tool. This is what was used here to pull this image into shape, so to speak. And, that’s about it – as in opening up the shadows of the fields in the foreground and pulling the highlights in the clouds and sky. I may hasten to add here, this image is as it was – nothing has been added in.
And, as may be noted, this picture wasn’t made in camera – as real photographs are – this was data captured on a data capture device and later manipulated on a computer. What am I going on about? Come back later and I’ll get into. Enjoy.
[PS – since this article was written in 2012, I have since moved on to Photoshop CC and NikSoftware – rc, 2015]
UPDATE : While this photo is not part of this collection, we have added a photo gallery of images taken at more or less the same time in the same region – The Drakensberg. This photo will find its way into its own gallery in due course.
TECHNICAL NOTES: This image was taken with a Canon 5D MkII using a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM lens.
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originally written and posted on 120623 – reposted on 190119 – revised on 230322.