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Can't get cloud definition w/ lightroom golf course shot

Bob in Savannah

Masters Patron
Premium Pilot
Aug 6, 2018
Savannah, GA. USA
Just what it says... I'm trying to figure it out.. I love the color I'm getting but to get definition in the clouds makes everything else too dark. This is literally the first lightroom edit I've ever made. IMG_20180926_125017_919.jpg
I don't see very well-defined shadows on the ground. If it was a gray, overcast day there's not a lot you can do.
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This is the perennial problem that all UAV pilots face at some point - the sky being much brighter than the ground. Occasionally you'll find a sky that has darker clouds, and the sort of mid-blues that mean you can expose for both it and the ground, but most of the time the sky will be orders of magnitude brighter.

In general I find it is best to expose for one or the other, then move the camera so you get mostly what you have exposed for. So in the case of your shot above I would have just moved the camera down a bit so there was much less sky in the shot.

There is a quite a lot of noise in your pic too, which has been accentuated by the over-saturation. I'd go for less of that personally so that stuff doesn't look like it's been spray painted luminous green ! :)
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I've probably ruined your picture by over-processing, but my suggestion would be to find controls in Lightroom that allow you to increase Shadows and Highlights.
Since you have the original picture, your results should be a lot more rewarding than mine, hopefully, without the "spray painted luminous green ! :)".

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I did a little adjustment in LAB mode - pushing the contrast of the a&b channels pretty substantially. It brought out the clouds a bit - the ones it could find. If you like this, I can tell you how to do it. - Gary

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Wow. I just learned a ton from you guys. Awesome help and I’m going to keep trying. Thank you so much.
Maybe try a 5 shot AEB next time, that will give you a lot more to work with.
I had a quick play for ya!!!!
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Grad filter in lightroom would help. Especially if you use RAW.
Or use AEB and combine shots, too much hassle to do routinely.
Or do it on a day with better light.

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