Some More Buildings!
There were some pretty cool buildings in Rome, though I don’t think I straightened this one out. I waited for a long time, for the crowds to disappear, but that did not happen. Finally, I felt that the two girls in the front presented me with an interesting compositional element. I like the V-Shape of the building, with the streets bordering it on both sides. I must confess: I used Luminar AI’s sky replacement tool to change the sky. I chose this sky because the clouds seemed to almost kiss the side of the building.
In the image above, you may see that the cloud almost caresses the side of the building all along its length. The roads seem to mirror the shape of the building, as well as the clouds. Honestly, I don’t remember which template I started with, but I can always check. Luminar AI, as I have mentioned, is superb for consumers, travel bloggers, and those who are editing many images. I have not yet used it much for portraits, but I like what I have seen so far.
You may ask why I chose the template that I used. When I looked back at many old images, I was not very happy with the straight manner of my earlier edits. Some were, frankly, quite over the top as well. Since then, I have changed my approach to editing images. I take my time over a few images and work them through. Sometimes, I just throw away the edits and return to the image after many months.
But, when I started on my travel work, I wanted to create an atmosphere. The advantage of the templates in “Luminar AI”, is that they enable me to adopt a consistent approach without too much thinking.
I use Photoshop for all my street, landscape, nature, and monochrome photography.
So, what do you think of the images you see above?
I didn’t shoot the image that you see here. It is a beautiful image. Skies and clouds have a significant impact on an image. The quality of the sky can make or break an image. In Delhi, for instance, we have so much smog that for much of the year we have a dull, blue-white sky. As a result, the image that we get is dull and flat. Not only do clouds help to light up a sky, but they also cast shadows that add depth to an image.
Yet, when you are replacing skies, you are treading on an ethical line, and it’s easy to fall off into the Jaws of Hell. There are two risks that I see, apart from other issues that may crop up.
- It’s easy to become lazy. Instead of doing your research prior to a trip, you tell yourself that it’s all good. You can just replace the sky.
- It’s easy to become lazy. Instead of waking up early, or waiting for the best light, you head back to your computer. More than half the joy in photography, is in the planning and the waiting. It is in the anticipation.
- You become boring. Everyone, after all, is buying the same skies. I am pagan/animist in my belief system and I believe that Nature created an infinite variety of moods.
So, you should only use Sky Replacement as an exception, and not as a rule. But, I will come back to the ethical dilemma later in a future post.