Stormy Sky, Homestead, Florida

Driving back from Everglades National Park shortly after taking the photo in the previous post, the sky was full of turbulent rain clouds backlit by morning sunlight. The scene was particularly striking around a group of pastel houses that were visible across a bright green field along Ingraham Highway. I pulled over, got out and started walking around and making photos from various vantages. The image shown here is my favorite.

This photo needed a fair amount of photoshopping to raise overall contrast, lighten the houses and ground and increase color saturation to get the scene to look like what I had seen with my eyes. Because the sky was quite a bit brighter than the ground, I first duplicated the background layer, then masked off the ground on one layer and edited the layers separately. It might have been easier to use a graduated ND filter when I took the picture, but so far I have been able to avoid using ND filters. The tradeoff of doing it in the computer seems to be more control at the cost of much more editing work. Maybe grads are worth trying.

Technical Details: Canon 70-200mm/f4 lens @70mm on 5D MkII camera.

A dramatic sky of dark rain clouds contrasts with colorful houses and green fields near Ingraham Highway in Homestead, Florida. (© 2012 Jonathan Gewirtz /

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