Simple editing to enhance an image

This page will try to show you how to give your pictures more impact by editing tonal values to go from this
to this

The first image is a jpeg converted from the RAW file straight from camera. It is important to use RAW in the camera as there are a vastly increased number of tones that the camera can record in RAW than the limited number of tones available to be used in a jpeg. This gives the photographer greater lattitude to change tonal values without causing artifacts caused by any tonal compression that he may introduce when manipulating the image.

The first step is to get the image into our editing software as a 16 bit image and adjust the levels. Here you see the histogram and that we have moved the left hand arrow slightly to the right (making the blacks blacker) and the middle arrow quite a bit to the right. This has the effect of darkening and compressing the middle tones of the image.
This gives more interest to the sky, which looked a bit bland.

Now all we have to do is crop the image to get rid of some of the extra water, which is not contributing a lot to the actual interest in the picture and we are done.