11-22mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Liquid

Water features are an important part of the gardens at the Alhambra. Ironically, as I was trying to get a shot of this pool, I was also attempting to protect my camera from the off and on rain:

ISO1600 18mm f/13 1/1000sec

It was a beautiful scene, and as I was shooting it, I was thinking about the liquid reflections in the pool, that is what really caught my attention. I shot this scene as a bracketed exposure, thinking to create an HDR version.  I did that but wasn’t crazy about the outcome of the sky. So, I went back to my original files.  The exposure above was the one that appealed the most, so I started there and created this version:

ISO1600 18mm f/13 1/1000sec

This version has been created in Lightroom. I started with the sky. I have used a graduated filter. In this case, I dragged the filter from the top of the photo to just below the lowest part of the sky. From there I used the slider that allowed me to drop the temperature of the photo, which brought out the blue tone. I also used the slider that removed some of the noise in that part of the photo.

Other overall adjustments I have made include, adjusting the tone curve a slight amount and increasing the luminance of the red, orange, yellow, and green tones. I also sharpened the image a bit but then also moved the dehaze slider into negative territory. This is a bit contradictory, but I wanted the image to be both sharp and smooth at the same time.

What do you think of my final edit? Do you like it overall? are there elements that appeal to you or not? Feel free to leave a comment below.



27 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Liquid

  1. Pingback: Liquid – White Swan | What's (in) the Picture?

  2. Pingback: WPC: Liquidity | Lillie-Put

  3. I like the final version. It seems richer to me, more contrast and depth with the blue in the sky as well as the right section of the roof and the palm fronds.
    I like the compostion a lot. The diagonal between the trees. The corner of the pool coming right up to the edge of the photo nearly meeting the edges of the hedge, the small space between them, all the different angles playing off each other.. I find all these elements work very well together.
    Thanks for sharing your process I always find this very helpful.


    • Thank you very much. I didn’t mention it in this post, but I had actually given a fair amount of thought to the composition of this photo. This was one of those places where it is tempting to just take photo after photo because it is so beautiful there. I had to remind myself to slow down and think about what I really wanted to take a photo of.


  4. Gosh, the reflections in the pool are really intriguing. And the interest in the sky behind makes it even more of an unusual photo, than, say, if it was a bright blue cloudless sky. I’m curious, did you consider “blurring” the visitors behind the pool as in a previous photo? 🙂


    • Actually, for this photo, I felt like the two best options were leave them as is or remove them completely. Removing them was problematic, as taking them out of the reflection was a bit tricky. The argument for leaving them in is I think that you are creating a sense of scale for the structures around them. In this case, I wanted to make that point subtly and blurring them might make the viewer wonder about why they had been blurred rather than taking them in as scale markers and then moving on. That was my thought process anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, that makes sense, and I enjoyed hearing your thought process (as always)! I think there may be a parallel in fiction, in terms of what we decide to leave in and what we decide to skim over. An exit from a room, for instance. Whether to make it prolonged in the character’s mind, or just cut to the next location where the character arrives. Interesting!


  5. It makes a change to see the Alhambra in anything other than harsh sunlight! I think your changes to accentuate the clouds work very well – nicely done 🙂


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