<<< o >>>deep blue 25 comments + add yours

Continuing the "deep blue sky" theme, here's another one, and this one, better than yesterday's, demonstrates that polarising filters can be quite effective in deepening the colour of the sky.

Update: as a couple of people have asked I've put up the original version of this shot here:


All I did with this one was up the contrast with the Curves tool, boost the saturation a little with Hue/Saturation, and use another Curves adjustment layer to put a bit of colour (and a bit more contrast) into the woodwork in the foreground.

11.38am on 2/8/05

Canon 20D

EF 17-40 f/4L USM

17mm (27mm equiv.)



aperture priority






C1 Pro

perspective corrected

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter

3x2 + piers [Central pier] + fylde coast [scenic]
comment by nooneyouknow at 09:06 PM (GMT) on 5 August, 2005

I can't believe I have the first comment! Another fantastic shot, David. Can you recommend a good photoshop book, or particular course in the area?

comment by djn1 at 09:11 PM (GMT) on 5 August, 2005

Thanks nooneyouknow. As for books, try either of both of these:

Martin Evening's Adobe Photoshop CS for Digital Photographers or Scott Kelby's The Photoshop CS Book for Digital Photographers. Both are pretty good.

comment by Ioannis at 09:16 PM (GMT) on 5 August, 2005

Hm. Nice sky again. The shot is a bit random although I can see the point if one knows Blackpool. I think I would have tried to get the house without the people, because it makes interesting contrast with the sky...

comment by dp at 09:30 PM (GMT) on 5 August, 2005

Hmmm... your EXIF data says 11:38am. Whenever I've got fairly decent shots of the deep blue skies, its always around dawn (pre 7:00am). Dave, since this post can classify as a learn-to-deepen-the-skies tutorial, maybe you should post the original (without the selective layer edits that you've done) so that we can compare how much of the effect is gained by post-processing DJN style :-)

comment by owen at 09:36 PM (GMT) on 5 August, 2005

Tooth jewellery - sounds very tasteful! I've used a polarizing filter quite a lot before with my SLR, but I never got my skies this dark - you must have some excellent PS technique. Care to spill the beans?

comment by Christopher at 09:42 PM (GMT) on 5 August, 2005

Are thoes books ones you used to help you learn your techniques?

comment by djn1 at 09:49 PM (GMT) on 5 August, 2005

Ioannis: I know what you mean about isolating the building, but I think I prefer it with the people in the shot.

dp and owen: I've updated the description to include a link to the original image. As you'll see, the sky was pretty dark simply through using the polariser.

Christopher: most of my knowledge of Photoshop has been picked up through trial and error, but I do own both those books and have found quite a few of the sections very useful.

comment by owen at 10:05 PM (GMT) on 5 August, 2005

thanks for putting up the original Dave, I see what you mean. I think the boost in contrast must make most of the difference.

comment by Neil at 10:15 PM (GMT) on 5 August, 2005

Superb colour & nice to see the original so we can see what you've done!
I don't mind the people in the shot, but that guy's ribs are whiter than the rest of his body!! Strange!

Deep deep deep blue!!!

comment by owen b at 11:11 PM (GMT) on 5 August, 2005

Well I love the people in the shot - it's always interesting to see other people's comments on photos, especially when something one considers integral to the shot is considered extraneous by someone else. If they weren't there, I'd consider this a rather mundane shot, if beautiful all the same. They bring some human interest to it, something to wonder about (who are they, where have they been, what is she reading, what is he thinking...) while appreciating the stunning primary colours of the 'house'... Perhaps I've analysed too much. I'll get my coat... ;)

comment by Jeremy at 11:23 PM (GMT) on 5 August, 2005

Tooth Jewellery ?

comment by Joe Lencioni at 11:37 PM (GMT) on 5 August, 2005

I agree with owen b, the people are definitely necessary for this shot. It's amazing how dark the sky is at the very top... I'm going to have to get a polarizing filter.

also, what is tooth jewellery?

comment by Arthur at 12:00 AM (GMT) on 6 August, 2005

I have to say the last dozen-or-so shots haven't really been my cup of tea, however, yesterday’s and today’s are just the type of high contrast deeply saturated shots that made me a fan of Chromasia.


Probably actually prefer yesterday’s to today’s — a circular polariser is the one thing my camera bag’s never without!

Thanks for putting up the original and the Photoshop info, too—it’s the fine tuning of the contrast etc. that sets your post-processing a class apart.

comment by djn1 at 12:00 AM (GMT) on 6 August, 2005

Jeremy and Joe: here's what the enhancedental.com website has to say:

Whether you want [tooth jewellery] for your wedding, to look younger or just because you deserve it, beautiful tooth jewellery by an enhancedental dentist will change your life for the better.

Personally, I think I'll give it a miss ;-)

comment by nogger at 01:11 AM (GMT) on 6 August, 2005

I love my polarising filter for stuff like this. And I like it with the people.

comment by Smallest Photo at 01:21 AM (GMT) on 6 August, 2005

Scott Kelby holds lectures in the UK every year and I can highly recommend them.

I like how you didn't play with the glorious red of the true Englsih suntan ;-)

comment by kathy at 01:43 AM (GMT) on 6 August, 2005

i also agree with owen b. i think having the people in the shot makes the picture seem less random and ordinary. and, i think the unevenly tanned man adds a little humor.

thanks so much for including the original and the ps info!

comment by RobW at 03:52 AM (GMT) on 6 August, 2005

Definitely not the British summers I remember; sure seems like you have been having some nice days.

Great composition as always; you continue to surprise me with the quality of your work.

comment by Mike Waters at 06:25 AM (GMT) on 6 August, 2005

David, if it isn't too much trouble, please post 2 pictures a day. Thanks.

comment by Brian at 08:21 AM (GMT) on 6 August, 2005

Wonderful shot and thanks for posting the original - it goes to show that only the typical was necessary to get to the final product (not that it particularly matters, but is interesting to see).

comment by Ed at 09:37 AM (GMT) on 6 August, 2005

You can buy tooth jewellery from that small hut? And hair extensions?
Nice shot, the darkness at the top of the frame feels almost as if it was shot at night.

comment by Dan at 03:55 PM (GMT) on 6 August, 2005

Great shot! I particuarly like the composition and colour corrections you've chosen to make. I'm sure what we see here is much closer to what you actually saw in taking the photo. Thanks!

comment by djn1 at 06:28 PM (GMT) on 6 August, 2005

Thanks everyone.

comment by Niko at 07:39 PM (GMT) on 6 August, 2005

Great blue. Great photographer :)

comment by Vincent at 01:58 PM (GMT) on 8 August, 2005

Good one. Thanks for posting the original image as well, it is very interesting to see the modifications done to obtain the final result. It's a good way for us (for me at least) to learn from your post-processing experience. Would it be too much to ask for putting the original of every shot ?

Thanks for all anyway.