The Barn at Clear Creek

You may know that Liddy takes me for a daily walk at lunch time. We like to walk the paths and meadows at Clear Creek Park in Silverdale, WA. It’s a great location with elevated paths above the wetlands, beaver pond, creeks. Just a marvelous place to take a moment to walk and enjoy the outdoors

Original Capture

The Barn at Clear Creek (Original Capture)

On the north end of the park there is a farm complete with large farmhouse and a newer red barn. This shot of the meadow and barn was captured with my Lumina 1020 phone. The original shot here is pretty flat. It was early afternoon. The sun was high in the sky. I often shoot this scene. On this day, the clouds caught my attention.

Intermediate Edit

The Barn at Clear Creek (Intermediate Edit)

In Lightroom, I created a virtual copy of the JPEG original, removed the sign and lamp posted over highway 3, then adjusted the color a bit. Brought the exposure down to saturate the image colors and give it more depth.

Because I plan to use this as a lock screen image on my Surface, a crop at a 16:9 ratio is appropriate. The feature here is the sky. The meadow is a distraction, so cropping it out is an improvement. The shrubs in the foreground help hold the viewer in the frame.

This result is ok, but I’m  not happy with the clouds. While there is now more detail, it isn’t dramatic enough.

Final Edit

The Barn at Clear Creek (Final Edit)

In another virtual copy, I used the adjustment brush to darken the sky with the dodge preset.

This wasn’t doing what I wanted.

Because the area was already selected and had brush strokes through it, I played with the sliders in the preset, making it a one-time custom brush. When the effect was good enough – more definition in the clouds – I extended it through all of the clouds by brushing it everywhere I wanted it.

The brush density is set at like 50% so, I can apply a light amount in  spots and by brushing over several times, build up the effect elsewhere.
I also changed the crop a bit. Bringing the path back into the picture to get a bit of a lead in through the meadow.
Good enough for a screen background I think, so that is where I will leave it.
The diagonal across the sky leads you down into the trees, the farm house is just showing behind them and following the path leads you up to the barn. The bit of scrub on the left foreground tends to hold the eye in the picture.

Here are all three images as a gallery. Click an image to bring up a full screen slide show.

What are your comments. Where would you take this shot?