Bonsai Rock

14 minutes
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This is the bonsai rock in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Now Lake Tahoe is divided into two states, half of Edison, Nevada and half of Edison California. bonsai rock is super super famous and is located in the Nevada side. Now this is one of my absolute favorite photos of all times. I shot this at sunset, and it was just stunning. I kept coming back to this place for about four days before I actually got a decent sunset.

Now I was staying in Reno, Nevada, which probably is I want to say about 4050 miles from the spot. So for four or five days straight, I drove here every single day for Sunset from my hotel, just capture This sunset. So it just shows you that when you shoot landscape photography, you sometimes have to stay there days. I've been to some places where I've stayed weeks and I still didn't get any shots. Now let's go over our camera settings. So this is half of a second f 18, ISO 100.

Now again, I was trying to expose on the brightest part of the sky. That's the sun I believe was right behind discarded hadn't set yet or he had just one of the two I don't recall correctly. But I think I still blew out the highlights a little bit but I think we can bring him up, boom, bring him back. So let's, let's get started. Let me bring this. I'm going to bring the exposure up to explain my compensation.

So Again, we start at the corner of the eye. And we use this rocks to lead our eyes into the sunset into the horizon. Here are another rocks and this creates a triangle. So as you can see, our eye kind of starts here and it wanders away through here. Same with this side, if your eye starts here, it starts to wander away coming back to the bonds Iraq. Now we wonder horizon and our bonds Iraq to be our focal point.

So when you are shooting this, you really got to make sure you have some sort of leading lines that invites the viewer into the photo. And I think I think I nailed it pretty good here. So let me reset the exposure. And let's get started. So first things first, as always, I am going to straighten out my horizon. And I think my horizons always crooked because I get so excited of seeing all this stuff.

And I just jump right in and want to start taking pictures, which is okay, as long as you correct that imposed. So that looks really straight. That's pretty perfect right there. And now I, I spot some sensor spots right off the bat. So let's get those cleaned up right away. So my Opacity is going to be 100 my feather, it's around 17 and that just means the two lines the outside circle and the inside circle that's your feather and then the size we can just correct that accordingly.

I'm going to go down to visualize spots. I'll click on that and as you can see, there are quite a few sensor spots here. And you can tell the sensor spots are the ones that look like doughnuts. Most of those are going to be censored spots. A lot of these lines, a lot of these lines that you see these are just clouds. But the donuts are for sure 100% sensor spots, and you always want to clean those up.

So let's get out of that. And that looks really nice. And I always give it a second go around. That looks really, really good. So first thing I want to do, as always, let's open up the shadows see what we have down here. And I think that looks really, really good.

It makes me happy looking at this, it brings me back to this day. And I met a couple other photographers that were there that to this day, we're still friends, we still keep in touch and we were all just so happy that this was happening. We couldn't believe it. It was just so so amazing. So now that another my shadows are opened up, I exposed my foreground and I think that looks really good. Now what I want to do is I want to see if I can bring back This highlights that I lost So I'm going to grab the highlight style slider.

And I'm going to bring this down. And as you can see, we were able to bring him back. So we have color now and we have the clouds. And that looks really good. I think that looks really nice. Now I can since this got darkened up a little bit, I think I can bring my shadows up just a tad more.

And I remember, this is the style that I used to edit. And by doing this over and over and over again, I kind of develop my own style. So by the process of repetition, if you keep doing this, you will eventually develop your own style your own color palette, and it'll get easier you just have to keep practicing and trust that you can do it. So once we do that, I want to give it a little bit of punch right off the bat by giving it some contrast and look That. So let me reset that so you can see just bring it up and it just creates like this three dimensional image and now you can bring the shadows all the way up since it darkened up with the contrast. So once we did it in the photo looks just killer right off the bat, the suppressor Waikiki.

There's before and there's after. Look at that. It looks crazy. It looks so good, right? I really liked this image. It was just such a good day and the sky was on fire.

Everything was crazy. Now let's go after temperature. You can bring it down, make it a little bluer or you can make it rhetor or you can just leave it that's how it was shot. I think if we bring it up just a tad. That looks good. Right about there.

Now our highlights I don't think we need to touch the highlights. In the whites, I'm sorry, I don't think we need to touch them and our blacks, you can bring down the blacks a little bit. So you can do it by eye, which to me that looks right about right. Or you can press your option key and hold down the slider. And right where I had it seems to be about right. So that's pretty good.

Now we'll bring our vibrance up at 10. Now this photo is really colorful as it is. So we want to be careful with the vibrance but I think a plus 18 that looks really nice, maybe even a little more. It just depends in your taste. So now that that's done, I want to come down to my lens corrections, I want to remove the chromatic aberration and then I will I want to correct my profile correction. So enable that.

So as you can see, it all works and cleans it up. And I can see that my horizon it's a little bit crooked. So we'll just come back here and we'll just straighten it out. That's not a problem. Like I said, as you're editing you can always go back to all these settings and keep working on them till you keep tweaking them till you get it all correctly to taste. I always tell my students there's no right or wrong way to do this is entirely how you feel the photo looks best.

It is a reflection of your personality and you're expressing yourself. So don't worry about whatever you think people might think. Just try to create a good photo that pleases you. Now I just bought it another sensor spot right up here. So I'm going to get rid of it. Spot Hill to close out of that zoom out.

And that looks really nice. Now let's go to before and after. See how far we've come. Look at that. That's quite the difference. That's really, really dramatic difference.

Okay, so that the I think that looks really good. Now what you can do, you can bring, let me close this lens corrections, let's pick one of our radial filters. And then let's highlight this bonds Iraq. All right, now our exposure dial is already up, click twice to reset it. And I just want to bring it out a little bit more. This is a really, really famous rock.

So I want this to be seen I want the viewer to come here, the his side to come his or her eye to come to this rock and look at it. So that's subtle, nice and subtle and nice and good. Let's see before and after. Before, after before after. I think that's nice. So we'll close out of that and I think that looks really, really good.

Now let's use my other trick with the graduated filter. And we're just going to draw it from the top down to about right there. I'm going to click the effect word twice. And now that will reset everything and I want to bring the temperature slider down, just so I can bring some of these blues out. Now we can bring it up and make the sky really, really red. And again, it's entirely up to your taste, which actually looks really good.

But I do want to see some of those blues. So I will bring it right about right about there. That looks really good. Now we'll, let's see before and after, before, after, so it just made the blues a tiny bit bluer. Before, after before, after, and that looks good. We'll click done and that looks really, really nice.

I think this looks really really good. What we can do, we can come to our adjustment brush. It's another local local brush, click the effect work twice. And we're going to bring it up, bring up the exposure just a tad. And now we're going to do this highlights that I talked about before, just on some of those rocks just to bring out the rocks a little bit. It's just personal preference.

It's just personal taste, but it's a nice touch. You mainly want to do it where the sun would be hidden. So now you can bring this bright. Obviously, that's way too bright. Now you can tone it down. Let's see before and after.

Before, after and see just very subtle But very cool. And we can even bring up the contrast tab. Just to kind of make it more subtle, we'll close out of that. And that looks really, really good. I'm really happy that we were able to bring back our, our highlights, and we can even bring this down a little more. And what that'll do is it'll bring out a little more color and it'll bring some of this up.

Now, I think we might be able to use a little bit of this whites. Let's see what happens. It makes it crisp. It looks nice, but I'm trying not to blow this out again. So I just let's reset it. And I just want to be subtle, maybe like 12 that looks really good.

And I think that looks like a completed image. Now don't worry about this. This was formed from the waves Don't confuse the first four little spots. But I think that looks really nice. Let's see before and after. There's before and there's after what a difference.

As you can see subtle, small changes just create a massive difference in this photos. Now we'll finish this up by going to the detail. slider will sharpen it up, plus 60 masking key, hold on your option key, what White is sharp, what's black is stays the same. And I just want to do the rocks and maybe the clouds a little bit and that looks pretty good. Now as you notice, I never really use the noise reduction. We haven't needed it for any of this landscape photography, and we probably won't use it.

But what this does, this gets rid of the noise in your photographs on unless we need it. We'll use it I rarely use it on my photographs. When you're shooting landscape and you have your settings right and you're shooting on a tripod, your photos won't be grainy at all. In fact, sometimes they'll be too sharp. So, but I think that's a completed image that looks really really, really nice. I'm extremely happy with it.

Like I said, this is one of my favorite images of all times. Let's see before and after, again. There's before, there's after. And we can call this a completed shot.

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