I recently took this photo, and by playing around in RawTherapee was able to bring out two particular aspects of the image that I really like.
First, the original (This is a "save" of the RAW from Nomacs image viewer, I created the edits below from the RAW):
You can see some details in the clouds, but overall it is pretty gray and flat.
I created this first edit by lowering the "Black" and turning up the "Shadow Compression" in the Exposure panel. This brought out a lot of detail in the bird's wings, but the clouds turned into an even flatter gray:
Here are the settings in the Exposure panel I used:
For the second edit, I played around with the tone curves under the Exposure panel, and ended up with a rather aggressive curve which pulled a lot of details out of the clouds after I added some highlight recovery and maxing out the highlight compression. However, all of the detail in the bird is lost:
Here are the settings for this one:
My questions are:
- Is there any way to combine these two sets of settings to create a single output image with both the detailed clouds and the detail in the bird?
- What other methods are there to "stretch out" the colors in the clouds to bring out the details like in my last edit? I managed to create something I like by fiddling around with various settings until I saw some change, but I don't completely understand how the settings I changed created the resulting image. If you were going to try to pull off a similar effect, how would you go about doing it?
For context, I've started photography as a hobby within the past few months. Any feedback would be appreciated!