Correcting this problem is really not difficult in Photoshop and similar approaches may work in other photo editing programs. The Goal here is to provide progressive, selective darkening to the left side of the sky without affecting the rest of the image. As is always true in Photoshop, there are a number of ways to achieve this. I prefer to make a curves adjustment to the sky and then drop the curve layer into a group onto which I can add a gradient mask to apply the adjustment in a gradual way across the image. Simple huh! ... Ok here are the steps.
First I do a careful selection of the sky. This is by far the most time-consuming part of the procedure, although newer versions of photoshop have some magical tools that make this job MUCH easier. That could be the subject of a whole series of blogs
I then open a layer Group (red dot) and move my Curves Layer into the Group.
Finally I apply a gradient layer mask to the Group to apply the darkening effect gradually across the image. I experiment with the position of the gradient on the image to find the most natural blend. In this image I actually applied the technique a second time, in the opposite direction, to lighten the dark side of the sky. But that is about it.
There are other approaches to essentially double mask an image or adjustment layer. It is possible to intersect two different masks on a single layer, but I prefer the control that this technique affords, allowing the independent adjustment of both the sky selection and the gradient mask.
|Final Image: Franconia Notch|
Fields of Lupine Festival 2011
I apologize if these steps seem too technical. Photoshop's learning curve is infinite, but, come back the next time you are faced with this problem. It all may make more sense. The greatest enjoyment comes from playing around until you find your own solution. In the end you will be able to use your polarizer in a more controlled and powerful way.
Now back to the Lupines. I swear, I'm dreaming in blue these days.