March Challenge: Landscape… Entry #1 The Grand Canyon

I would like you all to welcome Theresa, our newest member. Scroll down on the left side of the blog to see her photo and bio. Theresa, it is wonderful to have you join us!

Theresa was the first one to send me a landscape photo so I thought we would start with: The Grand Canyon.

“We took a family vacation with my mom and my sister and her family in September, 2014.”

(Please, click on each image to see larger for better visualization.)

The Grand Canyon (Photo by Theresa)

The Grand Canyon
(Photo by Theresa)

Capturing such a huge area is difficult, in my opinion, but I think Theresa did an exemplary job by including those trees on the cliff to the left side of the image. It gives added depth to the photo as my eye is drawn to them and then explores the enormous canyon. You have a beautiful sky and nice clouds. An interesting sky is always desirable when shooting a landscape and if a sky is lackluster with not much of interest, then better to crop some of it out. Another important part of landscape photography is keeping your horizon line out of the middle (and of course, there are exceptions) and keeping the horizon level which you have done so well!

My one concern is that the image looks a bit washed out. It may have been some haze in the sky or it might be a bit over-exposed. So in the interest of learning, I decided to edit the photo. I don’t know if Theresa shoots in raw or jpeg but she sent me the original size image which gave me a bit more leeway for editing.

I first took it into Lightroom and underexposed it, and gave it some clarity, contrast and a bit of vibrance and a bit of sharpening. The image still looked like it had a blue cast.

Edit in Lightroom

Edit in Lightroom

So, I took it back into Lightroom and used the white balance dropper and clicked on the white of the cloud and this was the resulting image.

DSC_0232[1]-4 rs

Re-edit in Lightroom using White Balance

 Having never been to the Grand Canyon, I have no idea which rendition might be the most accurate and then again, we edit photos to represent how that place appeared to us at the time. One person’s edit can be entirely different from another person’s edit/view.

Not knowing if Theresa uses or has any editing software, I decided to see what the free editing program Ribbet might do with the photo. So I went to:

This was the result using Ribbet using just the automatic edit.

Ribbet Automatic Edit

Ribbet Automatic Edit

I was not liking that so much as I still thought that it looked a bit blue and washed out, so rather than using the automatic settings, I manually added contrast and clarity and increased the shadows. I also played with white balance and sharpened the image a bit and this was the resulting image.  This photo seems to have more detail than any of the others.

Edit with Ribbet

Edit with Ribbet

Thank you Theresa for submitting such a wonderful image! And what a great lesson to help us understand how editing can change a photo in so many ways… so many different looks to the same photo.

One of our meetings will be a hands-on working with editing to see what can be done with our images.

So, all you crazies, tell me… which is your favorite and why!


6 thoughts on “March Challenge: Landscape… Entry #1 The Grand Canyon

  1. Thank you so much Theresa for this amazing image! I so much appreciate you sending this our way! We look forward to meeting you and going out to shoot together!

  2. Nice going, Theresa. You can’t get a much grander landscape than the Grand Canyon! Fay, thanks for the demonstration and I do like the last edit with Ribbet best. Welcome, Theresa, grand having you join us.

  3. Just this past week I “adjusted” a phone photo for a friend of her on the rim of the canyon. But I’ve yet to see it, other than out the window of an airliner. So, it’s on my bucket list, and I live vicariously through your excellent images.

  4. First of all…welcome Theresa and thank you for this beautiful picture and submitting first. (It put me to shame) LOL.
    I love the last one too and surprisingly, this was edited in a free apps.

  5. Hi Theresa, nice having you. Lucky you to got to go to Grand Canyon.
    I ditto Tess and Rebekah.
    Good job ladies

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