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Lightning in the Cinder Hills by Rhavethstine Lightning in the Cinder Hills by Rhavethstine
I wish I knew how to manipulate levels in Photoshop. It's all voodoo to me. I say this because the auto-Levels doesn't always know what it's doing. ¬_¬ What's an ignorant photoshop-n00b to do?

Anyway, I went up to the top of a mountain Sunday night and was treated to a little light show off in the distance. It's nothing too amazing, I realize. I just have a soft spot for lightning photography, so bear with me. :)
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:iconkgambler:
Kgambler Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2006  Hobbyist Photographer
it's A M A Z I N G

-what where you saying ??-

great timing here! beautiful!

:+fav:

:heart:

Merel
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:iconspritz321:
spritz321 Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2006  Student Photographer
Such an amazing picture. I love lightning. =D
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:iconpatgoltz:
PatGoltz Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2006
This is an excellent shot. I'm a sucker for lightning pictures, too, but I have never gotten anything like this.
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:iconvorkan:
VorKan Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2006
!!!!! :)
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:iconfreezejeans:
freezejeans Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2005
:jawdrop:

Astounding shot! Holy cow.

Yep, Photoshop can be quite puzzling...I'm still learning it after 10 years of use!

Sorry it took me so long to comment, too...I'm extremely backlogged, had a PC fry up recently and had to rebuild :(
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:iconrhavethstine:
Rhavethstine Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2005
No problem. I understand the problems you're having with the computer. That was me a couple months ago. :)

Thanks for taking the time from your backlog of deviations to leave me your reaction. I know how difficult that can be, so I appreciate it. :nod:
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:iconsilvercoils:
SilverCoils Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2005  Professional General Artist
This is an incredible capture, the clarity and colors of the lightning and the cloud contrast well with the sky in the background. I just adore this, amazing shot <3
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:iconrhavethstine:
Rhavethstine Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2005
Thanks, Silver. :)
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:iconconcretedonkey:
ConcreteDonkey Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2005
Wow. This is gorgeous. I must admit - lightning holds a very dear spot in my heart. Post as many lightning pics as you like! ;)
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:iconrhavethstine:
Rhavethstine Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2005
Well then you and me both think alike in terms of lightning. :) I'd post more lightning if I had more, but I've been very busy this monsoon season. Haven't had as many opportunities as I would have liked... oh well. Thanks!
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:iconstarglo21:
starglo21 Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2005
:O I'm amazed.
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:iconmilchstrabestern:
MilchstrabeSTern Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2005
ah very cool :)
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:iconosagelady:
osagelady Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2005  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome!!!
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:iconkkart:
kkart Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2005  Professional Photographer
wow this is just amazing, that is quite the dramatic and action filled shot! Great timing as well!
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:iconvetsac:
vetsac Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2005   Photographer
Wow... Dude -- stunning photograph! As usual with your work, the colors in this piece are strikingly beautiful. Also like how you took the pinkish color from the bolt and used it to color your title font. Nice subtle touch :)

Did you do any Photoshop color adjustments on the lightning bolt/glow in the clouds, or is that simply the sunset lighting up the cloud and bolt itself? I'm curious -- what were your camera settings (exposure, aperture, etc.) when you shot this?
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:iconrhavethstine:
Rhavethstine Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2005
In photoshop, I did auto-levels (which is what I was complaining about in my description... it only rarely turns out perfect), tweaked saturation and contrast by about four points each, then added the borders.

I can't remember the camera settings for sure, but I believe they were F8 @ a minute and a half. Or maybe I started at F8 and that picture turned out too bright, so I stopped it down a bit. I can't remember. :)

Thanks for your comment. :thanks:
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:iconfrederikm:
FrederikM Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2005  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi,

very nice Picture, i always loved lightning and i also made some photos but this one is really good because u see the hole cloud that big lightningstrike.
:+fav:
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:iconxelf:
xelf Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2005
Wonderful shot. I definitely have some questions for you about nature photography, but I'll send a note for easy access.

Re: Levels. Know what you mean. The Auto Levels will adjust the Master and each color automatically, which can really throw off colors, even if it might help tone. This has happened to me many times when shooting people and skies, and I think it's partly b/c color is equally important to tone/contrast, but the computer doesnt see what we see! I'm not an expert at all, but I've been able to get good adjustments manually in several ways on sensitive pictures. 1st is to adjust levels manually (for tone/contrast mostly), but I almost exclusively do this in Master, never in individual color channels. For color adjustment I usually go with Color Levels or Hue/Saturation. Doing any of these in adjustment layers is ideal, since you can change anything at any time.

There are times when you can use layering to get the best effect, by duplicating layers and changing them to Overlay or Screen or Soft/Hard Light... etc, sometimes using a combination. That seems to adjust tone and contrast without skewing the color, although it may wash it out or intensify it in some cases.

Some people use Curves, but not me, not yet. Not cool enough yet.

Manual levels examples: [link] [link]
Layer compositing example: [link]
Auto levels (that worked well) ex: [link]

Maybe that helps.
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:iconrhavethstine:
Rhavethstine Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2005
Your levels explanation helps me to understand why the auto-levels screws up the color so often. That makes sense, for once. :)

Ah, I had totally forgotten about layers and they're the hallmark of Photoshop. _ I told you I was a photoshop n00b. :D I'll definitely have to keep them in mind when fiddling with adjustment settings.

Oh yeah, don't worry. Curves seems completely random to me, too. :confused:

Thanks for the examples, too. I still have to cruise over to your gallery. This stuff looks great. I will make some time tonight to do this. I seriously appreciate you leaving detailed feedback.
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:iconxelf:
xelf Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2005
Sure. I know how daunting that program can be. I've learned a lot about it in the last year and I still feel like an ametuer. Photoshop User magazine is a great resource. You can get it over the counter but it's like $10 an issue. Or 12 free issues a year if you sign up for the club, which costs $100. So I just buy it over the counter most months. Usually is worth the money.
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:iconjdmorehouse:
jdmorehouse Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
The thumbnail doesn't do this justice! What a great bolt of lightning!
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:iconinternationalbob:
internationalbob Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2005   Photographer
Very nice! Auto-levels is good for touching up landscape (Its sooo handy :D) shots but u really need to play around to get used to it, but i'm not too sure if this needs much work at all anyway!

Great stuff!

i-Bob
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:iconstudiominds:
StudioMinds Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2005  Hobbyist Photographer
Damn what an amazing capture. This is something else!!
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