Michael Jack  

Foothills Sunset by Michael Jack

October 2020 - Foothills Sunset

About the Image(s)

This was taken from the Foothills Parkway on the West side of the Smokies near Townsend. Normally when we go to the Smokies we stay in Townsend and slog over to traditional places like Morton's Overlook for sunrise and sunset images. We discovered a new section of the Foothills has a pull off location that also functions well for sunsets. This was processed traditionally in LR and PS, but then I added a low opacity look up table (LUT) amber color which seemed to add some nice pop to the image. I am finding LUTs can add some interest to a lot of images actually.

Taken with Canon 5D Mk IV, 24-105 f4 L lens at 31 mm, ISO 800, f9, 1/125 sec.

8 comments posted

Arne Skinlo   Arne Skinlo
I like the tonality of this image. The depth of field is well defined by the layers of haze. Since there is no original file, it is difficult to know the effect of the LUT, but in general, LUTs are a great way to enhance the images without overdoing it. If I should recommend any improvements, it would be to darken the top slightly.   Posted: 10/04/2020 00:15:27

Richard White   Richard White
Wow, I really like what you have done with this photo. The action in the sky is really striking, especially when compared to the mountains. The process of using LUT really enhanced the image. Now what is LUT, and where do I find in in Photoshop?   Posted: 10/05/2020 22:13:10
Michael Jack   Michael Jack
LUTs are look up tables, and you find them with other adjustment layers (levels, hue/sat., etc). There are a number of potential layers that are in a drop down menu - some colors, some textures. I think most people who use them select a color and reduce the opacity to about 10% and maybe mask out part of the layer.   Posted: 10/06/2020 07:10:26

George R Phile   George R Phile
Really nice image. I like the way the clouds draw the eye from the top right to the left and then back and forth until you arrive at the foothills at the bottom. Really good color in the image with nice fog/haze in the foothills. I especially like the layered foothills at the bottom with the bright sunset just above them. The only minor thing, and this is probably a personal preference, is I would like to see a bit more detail in the upper 1/3 or so of the sky. Nicely done though.   Posted: 10/06/2020 12:21:10

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
There are some great spots along the Foothills Parkway outside of Townsend for photos. My favorite is the first turnout on the left side (south) that has a double entrance (one at each end). The view in the valley is really special at sunrise. I usually shoot it vertical.

I love the sky in this image and tome that is where the story is. Those clouds have a great deal of character and colors. Your color enhancing trick paid off well. Personally, I would prefer to see the shadows of the foreground opened a bit. As it stands my eye wants to see what is there (when it gets through with the clouds) but it is just a bit dark.   Posted: 10/09/2020 14:12:24
Michael Jack   Michael Jack
Yes, that is the spot where we shoot sunrise. We still think the place I mentioned is best for sunset around Townsend.

You can also go to Tellico Plains and shoot sunrises and sunsets from the Cherohala Skyway.   Posted: 10/12/2020 08:02:50

Bill Peake   Bill Peake
That's a really striking image. I love the colors and detail brought out in the clouds. I've messed around a little with LUTs myself but ended up using a filter instead. I should give them another look. They certainly paid off here!   Posted: 10/11/2020 22:54:37

Debbie DeLong   Debbie DeLong
Lovely photo, so many layers and colors. The Smokies are beautiful. I might also like to see a little more detail in the lower right.   Posted: 10/20/2020 11:39:29


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