I have been cautious over doing one of these. Not sure why as I always want to see the before images of other peoples images. I am going to use this image as the before and after are pretty similar.
This is the original image.
Camera used was Canon 6D with a Tamron SP 24-70 f2.8
Settings were as followed:
From this image we can see the foreground is too dark but the sky is perfect. So we need to bring out the shadows and keep the sky as it was (we will do this after).
We upped the exposure and shadows to bring the blacks lights but also kept anything that was meant to be black, stayed black. As you can see, there hasn't been much done to it in terms of editing.
With changing these, I had to compensate the changes in the sky as this is how it looked.
The sky became too bright for the time of day it was and we lost colour and texture of the clouds. For this, I added a graduated filter. I decreased the exposure, highlights and lightened the shadows a little. I also warmed the clouds a little to bring more of that orange glow out that was there.
This is why it is very IMPORTANT to take photos in RAW and not JPEG as you capture more detail and tonal range as well as colours compared to a compressed JPEG. I wouldn't have been able to bring the details or colour out if I hadn't done RAW.
Only thing I did photoshop was the little bird in the left corner of the arch - I removed it. Everything else was left as it was.
Here is the finished piece.
The biggest difference has been the foreground and bringing the sky colours out more.
Though it looks small adjustment, it still took a good hour until I was happy with it and this is just one photo!!
I hope you enjoyed seeing the stages in developing this photo :)