How To: Tweak For a Stronger Image

Easy does it is the key.

april11fixit
april11fixit
Captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with a 28–75mm f/2.8 Tamron SP lens; 1/30 sec at f/7.1, ISO 800.Paul Marcellini

Elephants and Kilmanjaro, a perfect combination. Paul Marcellini of Miami processed his shot from Amboseli National Park to accent the drama. Nothing wrong with that approach, but the elephants blend in with the foreground, and the image has too pink a cast.

Working with his RAW file in Adobe Camera Raw, we converted the top and bottom of the frame separately—the top with a darker exposure—and chose a more neutral tone in both. Then, in Photoshop CS5, we cropped to get in tighter. Yes, we lost most of the purple cloud, but it was distracting. We used Smart Sharpen on the elephants to increase their separation from the foreground, but this had little effect. So we selectively darkened the ground around them, essentially rendering them lighter. Total time fixing: 20 minutes.

PPH0411_HOWPaul Marcellini

Photo: Paul Marcellini