52 Week Challenge – Week 2: Landscape

I have to be perfectly honest with you; I was a little lazy doing this week’s challenge.  The laziness was not because I do not enjoy landscapes, I do, but is winter and the scenery in DC is not that great right now. It might be better if we had some snow but we do not so it just looks dead.  In addition, I did not get up early to catch the sunrise, and the sunset I had just did not work out due to all the clouds.  I know these things sound like excuses, and they probably are, but sometimes I think you are allowed to be lazy at least during the winter. Now onto the photo.

I took this shot on a hill behind where I live that is actually a tiny park marking a historical site.  Historical sites are everywhere in DC.  I shot this around 5:00PM, facing towards DC with heavy cloud cover.  This is the direction the sun rises but the direction of sun set has no points of interest and the sky in that direction was shrouded in heavy clouds so there was no color in the sky in that direction. I mounted my camera on a Manfrotto tripod, and used my 18-200mm lens set at 80mm with a f20 aperture and a 1/8 second shutter at ISO 400.  I also had a NP4 neutral density filter on the front of my camera to balance out the sky and the city.As you can see the original picture straight out of camera (below) has no pop and is very flat.  

Original Image Straight Out of Camera

Therefore, I adjusted it using Lightroom. The first thing I did was balance the whole picture for a cloudy day, and then applied a graduated filter to the sky.  I then adjusted the saturation levels, sharpness, and for lens correction.  I then applied a pre-set to bring out the color a little more.  The final picture is a bit more dramatic, but I would not say fantastic.  

Final Edited Image
I did take several shots, and played around with them via Lightroom to see if I could improve them from the original straight out of camera image, but sometime there is just no helping the image.  I placed a few additional images below.

Additional image

Additional Image
I learned this week there sometimes there is just no good shot,  there is no helping a lousy photo, and I have to get a jump on the landscape week challenges.   Next week is the artistic challenge, which is a study in the color red.


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