Mousam Mouth

Just a gentle landscape shot, out across the marshes toward the mouth of the Mousam River…a rarity for the cost of southern Maine these days in that it is a unprotected river mouth…no jetty…therefore one of the last wild, unmanaged beaches.

This is a good example of what a little help from Lightroom can do for a landscape. The original…


has potential but is overall rather dull. Applying my normal processing…Recovery for the sky, touch of Fill Light, Blackpoint to the right,  added Clarity and Vibrance, and sharpening…improves the sky but leaves the foreground too dark and still dull…maybe duller since the highlights are stripped from the grasses as well.

This is when I resort to Lr’s graduated filter effects.

Drawing one down from the top across the sky and well into the landscape, I am able to reduce some Brightness, and add additional Clarity and and a bit of Contrast to bring up detail in the clouds. Then, drawing a graduated filter up from the bottom about 2/3rs of the frame, I am able to add Brightness, increase Clarity and Contrast, to bring out both the color and the detail in the foreground. I call it the dualing GrFilter effect. Finally, since the midground right along the horizon was left a little dark, I went in with the Local Adjustment Brush in Lightroom and defined a brush that was mostly feather…then drew an area along the horizon and added Brightness and Clarity. The result is a far different image…but arguably one closer to what the eye sees, rather than what the sensor captures. Mind you, Lr does not add anything to what the sensor caught…it just remaps the tones to a closer approximation of the visual. In that sense, the sensor and the camera did a great job of capturing the scene…since all the information needed to post-process was in the file!

Note that I am working from the jpeg file, and even with the limitations of jpeg, a lot is still possible in Lr.

From Around Home 2010.


5 Responses to “7/6/2010”

  1. 1 Wendy Hollands
    07/06/2010 at 5:10 am

    this is very beautiful & you always have a very interesting write up!!

  2. 07/06/2010 at 3:59 pm

    I find your dual graduated filter technique in LR interesting even though I don’t use the programme much. It can certainly bring out the colours, although in this case I think that while the sky looks great the land looks slightly over done – back that filter off a bit?

  3. 3 singraham
    07/06/2010 at 4:46 pm

    After posting this am, I decided that the GrFilter had brought up too much yellow in the grass, and backed off the yellow using selective saturation controls. I did not up date the blog image though. I have done so now.

  4. 07/06/2010 at 8:45 pm

    The end result is so beautiful! I like that you describe your steps!!

  5. 07/07/2010 at 9:58 am


    The slightly toned down version is more balanced to my eyes. The green looks ‘right’.

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