So this was the first attempt at the G+ Photography Collaboration and it was an image I am really interested seeing what others can come up with. So the situation behind this is to show how you made the changes you did. Mine were all done in Lightroom and kept pretty much in the workflow that LR sets out, using the White Balance options of LR4.
I call the changes White Balance but actually what I did was take an adjustment brush and set the White Balance to 50. I wanted to warm the image but for it to only effect the rocks and leave the sky the blue that it already was. My aim is not to make huge changes but rather build up slowly as you will see as I build the warmth in the rocks using various techniques.
The Graduated filter was used to deepen the blue in the sky and instead of using the color in the graduated filter I lowered the White Balance setting to -20 and then also dropped the exposure by a third of a stop. This enhanced the color I saw on the day and made the clouds pop slightly.
Either my lens or the sensor has these two dust spots that I have to cleanup every time. So far I have tried cleaning my lens both front and back but it has not helped so I’m thinking it may be on the sensor. Pretty easy in lightroom and I generally zoom in the 100% just to make sure I get the spots completely and not off center.
I ended up doing very little with regards to Basic settings. I increased contrast by 15 as well as the Vibrance and Saturation by 10 each. The major change was in the Blacks and Whites, I saw the histogram was not being used to the full so holding down the alt key I dragged the slider each way till I saw some colour popping onto the screen. This gave the image a little pop.
I have some presets for the Tone Curve and a Medium contrast did the trick without overdoing it. Again, I’m just looking to build on each setting to the overall goal.
My dodging and burning was limited just to the rocks where I brought out even more detail in the rocks by burning them. I only needed to do one pass over them as that was enough without overdoing it
The HSL tab actually was the last of the details extractor for me. I was able to darken the sky and the rocks using the luminescence settings of the Color just to darken them. This really made the difference to me and I stopped at this point because I did not want to overdo it.
Finally I thought the there was just too much open dead area on the left so I cropped the image down to the area I was interested in. One thing I might have liked to have done is take it into Photoshop and clean up the rocks and foam slightly but in the end I did not spend the extra time on this.