I almost didn’t take any photos in Sedona last week; I felt I couldn’t do justice to the intense colors and beauty of the amazing landscape, especially with the harsh light and shadows of late afternoon. And of course, I was right. But, I couldn’t resist taking some shots as we walked around the area of Bell Rock and its neighbor, the Courthouse. I wasn’t planning to put them on my blog, because both images suffer from horrible contrasts, washed out colors and a cloudless sky. I know that if I go out there at the right time of day with some nice clouds, I will get a better result. However, these photos gave me an opportunity to practice my editing skills in an effort to salvage something to remember this outing.
The first photo was first edited in Lightroom, adjusting highlights, shadows, clarity, vibrance and more- but then I did some work with luminosity masks (a way of adjusting the luminosity/brightness of a certain range of tones using channels in Photoshop), a technique I re-discovered when visiting a local photo group. I had read about this on Clickin Moms a year or so ago, used the technique a couple times- and then forgot about it. At the photo group, someone mentioned adjusting the luminosity of a photo- and a chorus of voices called out “luminosity mask.” In fact, they may have said, “TK luminosity mask.” This week, I googled luminosity mask and came up with Tony Kuyper’s wonderful tutorials on using this technique- and I bought a set of his actions, which were MUCH more extensive than what I had done on my own before. Although not difficult to do, it made me realize how much I still have to learn about Photoshop. I love using Lightroom so much that I usually don’t bring my photos into Photoshop except for cloning/healing and adding textures.
So here is Bell Rock. If you look closely, you might be able to see people walking the trail up to the top.
The second photo was also edited in Lightroom- then taken into Photoshop, where one of Jessica Drossin’s textures, Mumbai, was added to bring out the colors and add in some contrast that was lost when bringing down highlights and bringing up the shadows.