This shot has annoyed me on several occasions since I shot it back in February as I really struggled to come up with a version I liked. What made it especially annoying is that I couldn't work out why: it has all the ingredients of a decent shot – the composition works, there's some good detail in the sky, the exposure's OK, and so on – but no matter what I tried I kept up with something that looked almost as drab as the original. To give you an idea about what I mean, here's an earlier version:

.../archives/fleetwood_light.php

Not great.

With my previous attempts I'd assumed that the sky needed to be dark and dramatic – it seemed like the best solution, both technically and aesthetically. Despite numerous attempts though it either ended up looking drab (as with the version I linked above) or overly dark.

Today though, while sitting in the Ford garage in VT waiting for them to change a couple of wheel bearings on our van, I tried something different, i.e. adding a very steep curve to brighten the mid-tone values in the clouds. It might not be the best solution for this image – I'm sure there's probably at least another couple of versions lurking in there somewhere that would top this one – but it's definitely a whole lot better than it was :-)

As always, let me know what you think.

captured
camera
lens
focal length
aperture
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
ISO
flash
image quality
RAW converter
image editor
plugins (etc)
cropped?
3.14pm on 12/2/11
Canon 5D Mark II
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
57mm
f/8.0
1/50
aperture priority
+2/3
evaluative
100
no
RAW
Camera Raw
Photoshop CS5
none
minor rotation
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