Last month (31st March 2013) I had a wonderful day out doing a walk from Selsley Common to the viewpoint just before you get to Haresfield Beacon. Below are some photos I took on the common, looking down towards Stroud and its western suburbs. As a child I had many fun times on Selsley Common, playing hide and seek in the ditches and flying model planes I’d bought from Stroud.
For each of these images of Selsley Common: Processed in Photoshop CS5. RAW file processed twice – once for the sky (darker) and once for the foreground (lighter). These two images were then blended together with a gradual fade from one to the other, to give an overall balanced tone.
Click the images to see larger versions on Flickr.
I can’t remember the exact time I set off from Selsley Common, but it was probably around 1pm. I did a walk which went down into the valley, then up through Cashes Green (a suburb of Stroud), then up through the village of Randwick, up through Standish Wood, then up to a viewpoint just before Haresfield Beacon.
On the way back, I followed the Cotswold Way back through Standish Wood, where I stopped to take the following photo:
This took quite a lot of processing in Photoshop CS5. To make the first colour version, I processed the RAW file twice: once for the sky (darker), and once for the foreground (much lighter). In the original RAW file, the foreground was very dark, so to brighten it enough I pushed the Fill Light slider to 100%, increased the Blacks slider to get some contrast, then brightened it further using the Brightness slider, and also increased the Contrast and Saturation sliders. The two images were then blended together.
To get the black and white version, I took the colour version and used the Black & White function in Photoshop CS5, using the “High Contrast Red Filter” setting.
My walk back then followed the Cotswold Way the entire length of Standish Wood, then down into the valley, along the edge of King’s Stanley, up into Penn Wood, then back onto Selsley Common. It was 8pm when I got back, and was just starting to get dark.
It was a wonderful time to be on the common. Everyone else had gone, all the other cars had gone. The lights of Stroud were coming on. I took some photos of the lights, but I wasn’t happy with the results so I won’t show them here.
These photos weren’t taken on the same walk, but were actually a few weeks earlier on 13th March 2013. I include them here because I processed them today at the same time as doing the others. They were taken in Ozleworth Bottom, which is the name of a valley near to where I live.
I really like this black and white version. This was made using Photoshop CS5′s Black & White function, using the “High Contrast Red Filter” setting. I love the dramatic sky in this. I didn’t create this beauty. The landscape was already there. All I did was point the camera in the right direction, then pressed the right buttons on the software afterwards.
For this next photo, the RAW file was processed 3 times: sky (darker), foreground (lighter), shadow hill area (much lighter, more saturation). The 3 images were then blended together.
Okay, this is where I went the extra mile with the processing, because once I’d blended the 3 individual RAW conversions together to make the previous colour image, I then used two different settings to get the best overall black & white look.
I used Photoshop’s Black & White function to make it black and white, but did it differently for the sky and the ground. The sky was done using the “High Contrast Red Filter” setting, but the ground was done using the “Infrared Filter” setting.
Whatever gets the best result…