Digital Photography Sunday School Episode 4

//Digital Photography Sunday School Episode 4
Digital Photography Sunday School Episode 4 with PhotoNERDs. Yosemite Photo Tour 2015, with McKay Photography Academy
Final Processed Image
Straight out of camera

Camera Gear and Settings:

  • Camera: Canon EOS 6D
  • Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm F4L IS USM
  • Focal Length: 200mm
  • Shutter Speed: 1/6th
  • Aperture: F/16
  • ISO: 100

Processing Software Used:

  • Lightroom CC 2015
  • Photoshop CC 2015
  • Also applied, NIK Filters: Output Sharpener and Silver Efex Pro 2

photo by: Jack Thatcher


Yosemite 2015, Fall Photo Tour with McKay Photography Academy

Each year we make a few trips to Yosemite National Park to help teach McKay Academy students about digital photography. Every trip we have to make the stop at the famous “Tunnel View” for the classic shot over the valley. You know the one, El Capitan on the left, Bridal Veil Falls to the right and Half Dome straight down the center. While certainly an iconic place the weather doesn’t often cooperate in my experience. This morning was different. It was AMAZING!

I shot a time lapse of the sunrise and then decided to take a few stills before we moved to the next location. I love looking for layers and I thought these trees looked perfect. The mixture of fog and smoke in the valley was simply breathtaking. Initially I shot the image horizontally but I knew I was missing something. I realized if I shot it vertically it would help to make the trees look taller and draw your eye through the frame. I was on a tripod so I set my ISO at 100 for the best quality and my aperture at f/16 to get the trees in focus through the entire frame. From there I let my shutter fall where it may, in this case 1/6 of a second.

Editing Process

My initial goal for processing the image was to bump up the contrast to accentuate the fog and dark trees. I also planned to add some selective saturation to the trees in an effort to make the orange ones really pop. I started down that road in Lightroom CC by adjusting the white balance and basic sliders like highlights, shadows, whites and blacks. I did some slight split toning where the shadows where green and the highlights were blue. I got it to a point where I liked it but felt there was something missing.

At this point I asked myself a question that doesn’t often cross my mind…..”What would this look like in black and white?”. I moved over to Photoshop to see what I could do. I used a luminosity mask layer trick to boost the colors a bit first (There will be a quick tip on that somewhere down the road). Then I moved over to using the Nik Silver Efex Pro plug-in to convert the image to black and white. My eyes always like the selenium tint so I went with that and really liked the results. Lastly I added some selective sharpening to the trees to make them pop and finished with a vignette.


  • Awesome stuff here Thatch. love the finished image! 🙂

    Tanya Wallis 07.11.2015
    • Thanks for stopping by TW!!!!! Glad you love the image.

      JymmyJack 07.11.2015

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