Man, what an amazing location! Where is this? And a long way you walked up the hill, too? Himalayas or something?
Yeah, this is from about a week and a half ago in Spiti Valley up in the Himalayas.
Yeah, just such a cool location. So you've got, I mean the obvious thing is the town, and it's set up for you to use contrast to pull that out. The blue sky in the background, it depends whether you're looking for a record shot like a postcard type of shot or whether you want something a little more interpretive or an expression that you want to give, similar to Peter's Easter Island or Turkey with the kings' heads. This would work in black and white quite nicely I think, because it would allow us to work on the texture of the rocks on the right, it allows the buildings to come out, and we don't get distracted by color. The blue of the sky is no longer pulling us into the background. And, we can work with the texture on the front of this corner to lead us down into the town. There's some...
nice lines in that background of those mountain ranges that we can work with, as well. But that would be my instinct.
So, are you wanting to darken this?
I'm thinking. What was your when you took it?
Well, I wanted to get an aerial view. This is one of the best known monasteries in India. It's the key monastery, and most people are used to seeing it from much lower down.
Yeah, yeah. Not as fit as you to walk up the hill.
Yeah, that was actually a harder climb than it looks because we were at 13,000 feet.
Oh okay, yep. (crosstalk)
Made it to 13,000 feet. Yeah, so it was (mumbles). But I haven't, I haven't really done any post work on this, mainly because I'm still trying to figure out what to do with it, so this is--
What to do, okay.
This is pretty much exactly as I recorded it right now, and I wanted to turn it into something a little bit more memorable. I'm at that point where I have so many options that I don't know where to start.
Yeah, you do. You've got heaps of this, that's for sure.
Well, the things that jump out to mind are the grittiness of the rocks in the foreground, the mountains, the village town or the monastery itself, the puffy white clouds against the sky in the background, the river that's running through. And in that ridge line that runs from the town daringly towards the top right hand corner there's some nice little shades sort of in the middle there that we can work with.
So what I'm finding is that there's a lot of space here.
Now, if we're going to crop the image I just want us to look at a few different options where when we do that we're sort of making this negative space and it's sort of balancing the space over there. But, I've lost some of all the other peaks, which are certainly interesting. So, whoops, grabbing the wrong bit. if I come in and we make it a sort of a square frame, maybe a square frame like that, but I've lost that peak. If I want to keep that peak in there, as well, then I've got a strong diagonal there. But, this needs to be toned down. And I wonder also whether I, if I went in and we, I don't whether I'm allowed to do this or not.
It's not quite a square peg.
Squarish. If I were to steepen it down you're going to make it look much more dramatic, but it also allows, it brings these two elements closer together within the frame so that I can squish, I can get my format back a little bit. It doesn't have to be square.
I'm just wondering whether that has, if we then go to the black and white toning, which I think is a good idea.
It's also reduced the impact of that foreground with the rocks. You can use them to lay it in. And you probably want a vignette a little bit just so it'll have that graduated sort of darken to lighten from that bottom right hand corner. That'll lead us down the hill.
Yeah, that's not bad.
A little bit strong, but you're getting an idea.
Yeah, yeah. So that just kind of leads us down the hill. Probably a bit of contrast on there or even, depending where it's going. That's it, that's a bit better. Yeah, it's just a little bit, let me--
A bit heavy?
Just find my (mumbles). No, I'm just not happy with the edge there, but come on. I'm sorry I'm inept here on this. Okay, if we just ... And that should be a bigger brush, much bigger. Link. Eraser setting is okay. Yeah, just smooth that out a little bit so it's not visible as to exactly ... It still is, but it's muted.
It's reduced intensity, oh yeah.
Yeah. Maybe we do the same. We add in dark. You know, that we've got that sky happening up there. This section just in here.
It's kind of flat. I think it needs a little bit more. I think we should pull in there.
Yeah, I agree with that. So you can see we're just, we're just exploring the image a little bit. It's not ... Sometimes we're going into ourselves a little bit here thinking, "Such amazing location and image. "How do we get it to really shine?" I'm a little bit reticent to cover or to touch on the monastery itself, because I think that's looking quite good.
Also there's the danger because they're quite high key and white, you could start pushing them too high we start to lose some of the detail that's there.
Maybe even adding a little bit of clarity in there just to give it a bit more interest, etc.
Better, that's lifting it. Can you see how that lifted the whole valley floor like an earthquake?
Let's not say that.
(laughs) Why? We're not close to the fault, are we? So you see that there's a natural line in the landscape down in here, and so when I'm playing around with my brush I'm sort of playing underneath that and using what's already in the landscape to sort of hide the fact where I'm making the transition, where I'm making the adjustment. It's just one of the ways of creating something that's a little bit invisible. So overall, can we just maybe look at the levels just to see whether we are actually getting the maximum out of the histogram? I'm just curious as to on curves. There, is that good enough for you?
Yeah, that'll do.
Same thing. So just that's it. Just lift it a little bit without pushing too hard. We don't want to make it go over the top, but yeah, that's, that's done. And the other thing I like about this the changing of that aspect has actually created the impression of that valley. You can actually feel the valley going off in the distance.
One final thing I might just do as a test. Let's see what happens. I'm going to invert this mask. Whoops. And I'm going to darken down the image overall, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. So, I'm getting it really dark, contrasty. And then I get my eraser brush, which I have here, and let's just ...
It's a bit like the old, when you're doing the (mumbles) toning. So, that's a little bit obvious perhaps.
I'm just trying to get it to stand out. I mean it's a little bit strong.
What do you think?
It is too strong, but it's starting to perhaps create a little bit more drama in there, just as I thought. I think you could do a lot with it.
I like the way that brings out the monastery. It's something I wanted to do.
The things that you might want to when you're working it yourself is these little white areas you could maybe pop them up a little bit. Some of the lines here and some of it now even just by dropping in highlights there. I need to do that more subtly. (laughing) And then just the edges of the clouds and just create some of that going through to the back, some of that little bit more volume, or not volume, but three dimensionality going through to the back because it's gone a little flat. But the process that we've gone through so far, the journey that we've taken so far, really has that town as the hero, which I think was one of your goals, wasn't it, Rakesh?
Yes. I wanted to relate it to the valley, because this is one of the castles and their trade route was actually up the valley. So their actual trade route was up near the bend in the river in the distance. That was part of what I wanted to get.
A lot of fun.
Pete and I jumping in, and we're just looking at things. And as you just, it's all about balance. We're just looking at, again, okay, and then I'm just looking over here again. Well maybe we need to just bring a bit more of that through. You can see that sort of lightens that up. And we're just looking at where is there an imbalance in the picture and can we just, yeah. And that's no different really to a painter with a canvas just sort of touching things, adding highlights, darkening areas down, etc.
Okay, thank you. That's a great shot, thank you.