Copyright Laura A Knauth, All rights reserved.
Please contact me for any usage or licensing options.
I have to say I really love this image even though it is simple. Typifies the cloudy days that are still beautiful in the Pacific Northwest. This is haystack rock near Cannon Beach, Oregon.
Canon EF-S 18-200mm Lens, 60mm
f16, 1/10s, ISO 100
2-stop Graduated ND Filter
Adding Final Processing Sparkle
A processing technique I've recently found and will start incorporating in all my future images is to add a final tweak to boost the brightest whites of the photo. Seems to really make the image sparkle. I started re-opening a copy of the image in Camera Raw and bumping up the Highlights slider in the Tone Curve tab slightly to the right (starting with +10 or so). I also check whether bumping down the 'Dark' slider slightly to the left adds an appealing effect. Sometimes that can really add richness to the tones.
I've been watching what these sliders do to the tone curve in Camera Raw and have started mimicking that recently in Photoshop directly using a final Curves adjustment layer. Doing this step too soon in post-processing might take away more detail then you intended, so I've been saving these final adjustments to the end. Just wanted to mention this technique because I've realized that just when I thought my images were essentially finished, I found I liked the image much more after trying these final highlight or dark tone tweaks.
Hope you find this useful!
-by Laura A Knauth