Shasta: Results

Bill Theis

My favorite is Par#4 935 for overall color and feeling.  The cedar trees are very "shapely" and well colored.  The bottom is also sharpened considerably less and again, I find that I would hang this on my wall alot longer than any of the other "par's".  Good color variation between yellow flower and golden grass(?).    Matter of taste but I still find the sky too saturated.   What's not to like?

Par#5 936 is also interesting but a little "krunchy" for my taste.  However I like that it has less saturated sky = more normal looking.  Shasta less blue. More definition in the dark cedar trees but at a price.  That little white flower (?) really stands out now as do all of the foreground bushes.  For my own work, I avoid over sharpening and heavy shadow/highlight.

My belief is the reason this photo was taken was for the mountain and the plants provide context.  Almost all the color is in the plants as it should be.  Living in California lets me experience smoke for months at a time each summer.  This had a detrimental effect on Shasta and trying to recover a sunny day with no fires is hard but possible, as this exercise demonstrates.  However,  you can always blend the original back if you like more smoke, which is "how it looks in real life".

Bill Theis

Dan Margulis

On Mar 29, 2021, at 2:16 PM, Jim Sanderson via <> wrote:

I found the Shasta image more difficult than the Pagoda picture from last week.
I have posted five alternate par images, based on changes made to our entries that I will describe in a subsequent post. They are numbered #932-936. Comments on these are welcome before or after I describe how they were made.

Also, if I were doing this again, not only would I make one version for the foreground and a second for the background, but a third where I put more contrast into the background than I would possibly want. Doing this would enable me to be more conservative in my first “real” try for the background, knowing that I could always pep it up later.

That third version would also be useful to those of you who are dissatisfied with the punch of your background. So I did one quickly and have posted it as #931. I will explain how it was done in a later post.

The five alternates and this auxiliary file can be downloaded as a package in our Files section:

They are also found in the Photos folder for this exercise.


Gerald Bakker

The par is more saturated indeed, but I think this only works well for the foreground.
Well, why not... I downloaded both 926 (Jim's) and 930 (par), to see if I could make a blend for an even better version.

  • 926: excellent background, maybe a bit pale
  • 930: excellent foreground, background too much color, especially the sky
Start with 930 and add two copies of 926 on top. The first in Luminosity, the second in Color.
On the Lum. layer, add a layer mask that is black for roughly the bottom half, white for the top half (best use a gradient to make the separation). For a darker sky, reduce opacity to taste (I chose 75%).
On the Color layer, add a layer mask en apply the Blue channel to it (Background or merged, doesn't matter much).
The result is a version that has most of 926's background and most of 930's foreground. I think it's better than both.
Gerald Bakker

Jim Sanderson

I found the Shasta image more difficult than the Pagoda picture from last week.  The Pagoda shot I thought had a better starting point to work from and I came up with a better result.  (Mine was 833)  I'm not as happy with the outcome of Shasta exercise when compared to the PAR version which's saturation I find more to my liking.  Not only the harsh mid day sun but the really smoky conditions had me trying various techniques without a clear preconceived plan of attack.  As a result, my layer stack in Photoshop was a mishmash of adjustment layers and masks.  Too many.  Now I see that I could have bumped up the saturation a bit more also.  Mine was 926.

Jim Sanderson