In part one, I shared some ideas on capturing and processing a file. In this post, I’m going to expand on some of those ideas to take an image to the next level.

A different view

When I processed the first photo I was happy, but it didn’t take full advantage of Live ND.

This image was taken from a different vantage point. Why did it make a difference? The water flow was stronger. In addition, the camera was in the stream verses shooting across the creek. I enjoy the smoother rendition of the water in this photo. This is the same 25-second exposure (ultimately two minutes blended together because of the ND processing).

Image straight out of camera with no adjustments. Slightly over-exposed to protect shadows from blocking up.

Additional processing

Photoshop gives us the ability to tweak images using layers. As I spent a little more time working this image I discovered a couple things that I feel made it stronger.

Note the additional Luminar 4 Glow layer with judicious masking to enhance small areas throughout.

I added a sharpening layer and a separate glow layer from Luminar 4. I masked these layers filling them with black. Painting the masks with white at a low opacity from these two layers helped me control eye movements through the scene. Your eyes will tend to move around in an image with areas of higher contrast or sharpness.

Here’s the previous photo from part one, alongside the second photo.

Camera gear

For the second shot, I used the same gear as before — the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III with the M.Zukio 12-100mm f/4 lens mounted on the Fotopro E6L tripod. If your camera doesn’t have an in-camera ND filter like Live ND, you might want to check out some variable ND filters.

fotopro Tripod in creek

Yours in Creative Photography, Bob