I have a pic that I took with my Digital camera and wanted some tips on how to enhance it. It was the first pic that I took and it was cloudy. Any help would be appreciated as I really want to learn how to do this with PS. I have the CS version.
I think your second image has got a serious red shift in it, looking at the sky and clouds.
I think the tools to use are
in that order of selection, depending on what you need the finial image to look like.
for the most adjustment and fine tuning - curves, for a quick fix something simpler.
I took the liberty of having a very quick play, (2 mins in my lunchtime) to get an extreme 'view' of what information is there to play with... the good news appears to be that there is information there in the darkest areas to fiddle with
I'm no expert, so wait for them to turn up and give some details
I think with a bit more time than I spent you should be able to get the right balance for your requirements.
Awsome photo. Having stood on or very near that spot many, many times, I still get a bit of a rush every time I see those rocks.
Being as you were taking a sunset shot, if you pull up too much color info, it loses some of its impact, but toXin's approach is definitely the best.
I didn't adjust quite as dramatically, and I used selective layers to keep the back range of the mountains and the rocks themselves at different color intesities and contrast, but that's just becuase I'm basing it on my feelings towards the place.
Sorry Toxin, but that's almost a crime what you did to that photograph!
You not only destroyed the atmosphere, you als destroyed the pixels, most visible in those bushes. The scene looks absolutely unnatural, above all after you took away most of the red... it's a sunset you know! You've tried to create something that wasn't there and that's a mistake that a lot of people make. We are probably going to see this a lot more since Adobe introduced the shadow/highlights filter, because suddenly it's getting easy for even a beginner to play with highlights and shadows.
beedyb220, I think yours looks the best (assuming that rest of the sky that's not visible was mostly cloudy too); you took some blue out, left some red in (a bit too much in my opinion) and worked a bit on the contrast (luckily not too much) while keeping this specific sunset atmoshere intact. You also didn't start some challenge to get every detail out of every shadow, because that is wrong in scenes like this.
It can still be improved, but still... well done
I'm going to assume that Adjustment Layers are being used.
Never forget that Ad-Layers have a mask.
Let's say that you get the sky looking good but the ground is bunk.
Well, just mask it and use another ad-layer for the ground with an appropriate mask.
In my travels, it's been rather common to chop up a photo into several chunks for different tweaks that are suitable for the particular chunks.
You're right on, of course, Stroker!
There's no way to do any image real justice with a few mouse clicks, some filters and a couple grunge brushes... [saywhat] The best effects always take some effort and a few layers, adjustment or otherwise.
That's why Photoshop is a continuous learning process, and why Forums like this one exist! :}