Deil’s Cauldron

By Laurens Wills, Edinburgh, Scotland
Exif: Pentax K100D, 18-55mm lens, 5 secs at f/22

Evening Class
Evening Class Evening Class

Laurens says

"This photograph of Deil's Cauldron, Comrie, was shot using a Pentax K100D with the 18-55mm kit lens at ISO 200. This is a direct JPEG conversion from a Raw image - no adjustments or sharpening were applied. I could have lifted the midtones a bit, but I was so pleased with the way it looked ‘straight from the camera' that I thought I would send it as it is."

Martin's Verdict

I am almost inclined to agree with Laurens that the picture looks pretty good the way it is. I reckon the camera angle and composition are excellent, as are the camera technique and successful use of a long time exposure.
Evening Class
But even the most perfect-looking pictures can sometimes be improved upon. What I chose to do here was add a lightening curves adjustment layer, filled with black and then painted with white to reveal the curves adjustment. This technique is like painting with light and the trick is to use a large soft-edged brush, ideally using a pressure-sensitive tablet, and build up the paint opacity to gently dodge the darker areas of the photograph.†

Martin Evening

Martin Evening

Photographer, Photoshop Alpha Tester, official Adobe roadshow speaker and lecturer. But perhaps best known as the author of the worldwide, definitive, best-selling series of Photoshop guides, Photoshop for Photographers.. Visit his website.