The Death Valley Details

death valley, rey spadoni, 2 guys photoThe photo below is what came out of the camera (a Sony NEX 5N) and was taken on a blistering scorcher in Death Valley National Park last year.

When I popped it onto my 21″ Apple Mac screen, I was struck by the lack of details in the sand and sky.  I recalled it being a bit different, richer, in the flesh.

Thanks to a little Nik Silver Efex Pro magic, I was able to bring out the details and gain a more gritty feel, including with the added frame.  Note the selective structure, contrast and sharpening boosts.

What do you think?

Here’s the original:

death valley, 2 guys photo, rey spadoni


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7 Responses to The Death Valley Details

  1. I love the drama the shadows add to the photo you “improved”! I think black and white also emphasized more of the drama and contours in the photo – really accentuates the dark/light contrasts in the photo. Nice work!

  2. Ed Spadoni says:

    That’s a remarkable transformation Rey. Not only you emphasized the sky and clouds, but you brought out detail and tones in that massive sand foreground. It also looks like it was an exposure challenge because the background is very bright and the foreground is in shadow. Did the Sony handle that on it’s own or did you adjust in post?

    • Rey says:

      The “before” shot was straight out of camera… the “after” was pretty heavily manipulated to selectively draw out details and to adjust the foreground/background exposure. I think you can see in the before shot that the contrast was largely there, however.

  3. Clanmother says:

    I love black and white – brings out the details that are overshadowed by color!

  4. Rodney says:

    Nice job Rey. I kinda liked the first photo, until I saw the “remake”.

  5. Bille Jean says:

    Very nice details, gotta love processing, this is terrific

  6. Rey says:

    Thanks for the comments, everyone!


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