I finally decided to take the leap and learn how to use the big stuff in Photoshop. I took some shots of a lovely sunset about a week ago, and it was lovely precisely because it was a cloudy day. Clouds make stunning sunsets, with the play of light and colors they create.
The sky was breathtaking, and there were moments when I forgot to adjust the settings and press the shutter because I was staring open-mouthed at the magic happening in front of me. So far, all was well. The problem showed up when I downloaded the pictures and I noticed a great difference in exposure between the sky and the sea, which left me with shots where the sky was amazing and the sea was just a dark mass below. Of course the sea was naturally darker than the sky, but it wasn’t that dark.
What to do? Surf the web for tips and inspiration, since it’s a long weekend and I have the time. I’ve been wanting to learn about levels and curves for a while, so I took advantage of this chance and used curves adjustments on the sea in these pictures. I’m a hands-on kind of person – I’ll google to get the basics of something, and then I’ll go straight to practicing and keep learning that way.
I’m no expert, and I was just experimenting a way to improve my pictures, but I rather like the results. The sky’s still as bright and fiery as before, and the sea glows in just the right way without being neither overly bright nor dark in an unappealing way, plus it made the boats stand out just enough to add the picturesque touch they always add (they were invisible before I edited the pictures, ‘cause they blended with the dark sea).
So my conclusion is, if you have a shot you’re not a hundred percent satisfied with, try post-processing – you’ll most likely find a way to improve it.