#8. "RE: Would Love Critique on How I used CNX2" In response to In response to 0
San Jose, US
Jerry I am not on my main computer as it has been having a bit of a memory manager crashing problem recently, so I shut it down as so far I have not found the exact problem that is causing it, so I can;t process your image, but I can offer some comments.
While I can;t see the exposure curve, the original looks a little over exposed, especially in the sky,and some of the whites on the left side look close to blow out.
So if I opened this image, here is what steps I would have followed:
Double checked WB, and maybe try cloudy WB to see if it looked better. Double check picture control, most likely would have tried Landscape. Depending on ISO shot adjust or accept default noise reduction. Open Quick Fix and look at exposure curve. Does it extend to both ends? Is it stacked up on either end? I usually do not do any extensive curve adjustments in Quick Fix as it is a global change. I also do not set B&W points here as I prefer other tools, but if the curve was too far right or did not extend to the ends you could make adjustments here. You boosted Highlight protection to 25. I try and limit that adjustment to a max of 32, because I think it starts looking hokey past that. But I would at least look at highlights and shadows in the view command and see if either was excessive. In this case I think i would have adjusted the exposure slider down a little while I had the highlights view open to reduce the highlights showing there.
The next thing I would do is use the double threshold tool to set B&W points. You can do this in Quick Fix, but using double Threshold you get to pick the exact meaningful B&W point in your image. This is often enough to make your image look a lot better, because as you set B&W points CNX2 will redistribute the colors and luminosity settings across your image, taking advantage of the fullest range possible. The CNX2 help file will tell you how to pick these points and set them. But essentially you check the double threshold box and then move the points on either end of the graph so that you just see the start of the Black and white points in your image. Double check that this is a key point in your image that you want black or white and then click the B&W eyedroppers on these points to set them. What I usually do is use the magnifying glass to to expand the area and then raise or lower the numbers in the boxes below the curve until I only have one pixel left and that is the one I click. Now uncheck the box and see how the image looks.
Now is the time to consider curve adjustments. You boosted midpoints and also used color booster. I do not think I would have done either. When you work with curves, if you want the most contrast and separation among colors you want to steepen the curves. Most people apply what is called an S curve to do this. You would raise the midpoint on an image that looked dark in the mid tones, but I don't think you have that problem.
How does look now? Here is where we start doing selective adjustments and the best tool to do this is actually color and control points. How doers the sky look now, too light? drop a few color control points on it click on advanced and pick a sky color you like in the view you will see. Make other adjustments as you see fit.
You never talked about sharpening. You should do a capture sharpening at the beginning and do a final sharpening at the end and then crop as required.