Digging Deeper

Jordan Lake 2-26-2020 © jj raia

Lakeside Fog – Jordan Lake, NC RAW © jj raia


In yesterday’s post, I neglected to mention some important points in processing the original RAW image above, into the image below. The original draw was the several layers of trees in the fog, with each layer more hidden as the layers receded in the distance. But a major problem needed to be addressed before it could be more than a lackluster image. There was no discernible point of focus where the viewers eye can initially land. Without that point of focus, the eye will just wander around the frame, unsuccessfully searching for something of interest on which to pause. So how to “create” a subtle point of focus?

Since all the trees in the first row were about the same tone, the trees on the left of that row were lightened while the trees on the right half were left darker to make them stand out a bit more. Then the understory along the waterline, and the water close to shore, was lightened to be closer in tone to the surrounding trees, and to make the darker trees on the right side stand out even more. The final step was to slightly lighten the fog under the tops of the darker trees to really draw the eye to that spot in the frame even though there is very little difference in tonal values throughout the image.

Lakeside Fog — Jordan Lake, NC © jj raia

Lakeside Fog — Jordan Lake, NC © jj raia

There was the usual cleanup and some other very minor adjustments, but those three things were what created a subtle focal point in an otherwise low contrast, mediocre image, and made it slightly better than it was originally. These same measures can be utilized on a good photo and step it up a notch. More important though, is realizing that processing in most instances, can achieve your goal for any image. Now, if only those ducks would float by again!

4 thoughts on “Digging Deeper

  1. Hi, jj

    I know your editing is subtle, but I could detect no difference between the two images in this email. Nor could I find any difference between them on your blog.

    Nevertheless, I very much enjoyed your discussion of creating a point of focus.

    — John



    1. Thanks for checking out the post. It’s probably best to see the RAW image on a full size computer screen, and have it replaced immediately by the processed one, to see the differences. I just looked at it on my iPad and was able to see the differences; maybe I didn’t describe well enough where the changes were so you can zero in on those changes. I guess it shows that we should do everything possible to make our images the absolute best they can be.


  2. Pingback: Seeing Differences

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