Lower Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona is an iconic location for photographers, and it’s also a particularly challenging location to shoot in. The contrast is very high and getting a the most out of your shot takes some work. I took this photograph with the Sony α7 which captured the full dynamic range in the scene, but bringing all of that range out required some post-processing help.
Slot canyons are notorious for this kind of exposure, but they are by no means the only place where you’ll encounter the same challenges. Shooting in a dense forest or any kind of steep terrain, or even in the skyscraper “canyons” of a large city is similar. The best way to explain the workflow for a photo like this is in a step by step video. My goal for this shot was to create a dark, dramatic scene with lots of contrast and moodiness. This involved a number of adjustments in Lightroom like adjusting the warmth and hue of the image and bringing the blacks and shadows way up. I then took the image over into Photoshop where I blended two shots from the same scene together, removed a few distractions and added an extra bit of punch to the image.
This video is part of my new course POST 2: A Start to Finish Guide to Processing Landscape; a course where I take 10 of my favorite images and process them from start to finish in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Processing techniques covered include: layer blending, advanced masking and selections, luminosity masking, targeted adjustment layers, targeted sharpening and noise reduction, removing distractions and my entire workflow in Lightroom and Photoshop. All of the images from this course were created with Sony Alpha cameras (either a Sony α7, α7S or α7R II) so you’ll really get a feel throughout the course for just how far you can push these RAW files and the ridiculous amount of information they contain.
Photo info: Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona. Sony α7, Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS at 35mm. 1/3-sec., f/14, ISO 100