You have seen these mountains yesterday, and I’m afraid I’ll have to come back to them time and time again. This particular image is from yesterday late afternoon. I have used split ND filters, and while I liked what I saw on the camera’s LCD, I did not like what they did to the histogram. On the positive side, there is a lot of detail in the snow on the mountains, but this is outweighed by the negative effect on the top of the sky. I try using – and liking – them every once in a while, but compared to the elegance and flexibility of curves with gradient masks, they are a blunt instrument.
Or not so? I suspect that I expect too much. Maybe I need to use them more subtly, only going for part of the effect, using them as a means to get better material for the real work in Photoshop.
With this image I am quite satisfied. It has 13 layers, one group and seven distinct masks, and some of the layers are controlled by reduced opacity. The result is entirely artificial, I have completely re-modeled the tonalities, but it looks natural to me. Well, at least I have been guilty of worse atrocities to nature in the past 🙂