thanks its just a sun and sky. lux is very forgiving. I understand unbiased lighting better than biased like poser. lux you can think as a photographer i can visualize it in my head and it does pretty much as i expect. i have never really understood poser lighting or get my head around it with out being a bit of random guess work and see what happens.
yes i do not know how he does it either. everyone is different in how there brain works. i can not learn from reading but from doing things. while some can read a Manuel and it just sinks in. He is maybe very analytical in how his brain works as well as having a natural artist talent. I reckon you are naturally artistically instinctive. your last pic in the Congo series was full of background detail none of which distracted from the centre like the guy with his back to the viewer and only his legs showing. or the fertillity staue hidden in the shadows. One of the best tips i learned over the years is do not use pure white or black in paintings. The other is that the brain is watching what your eyes do not see. its looking for a wolf in the bushes or any other danger. it doesn't know whats wrong but it sends a message to you saying there is something not right here be careful. Any way that image was full of background stuff going on which helps make the environment look right. Anyways i reckon either you knew that or you naturally know how to help make things look right.
One of the problems I have is that I get a filmy haze on images if I don't 'level' it in Photoshop (funnily enough, it was Ero that solved that one for me) however a by product of levelling is it does make the blacks too black at times... if you know what I mean. Keep up the great work, I will be interested to see where you go with this as you got amazing results for one of your first efforts!
I presume you mean with the curves tool you leveled it. The simplest get around then is to duplicate the layer first do your changes with the duplicate then use the eraser with a soft edged brush set at 20 % strength and erase the dark areas very softly. Utilzeing the soft egess for the borders being top and bottom
Oh that sounds a good idea! The way I currently do it is add a level an adjustment layer at the top of all the layers (I tend to have a lot as I use a tablet for post-work). I can play with the settings but you end up getting the hazy look again. I am using Photoshop CC and it it a sort of ying and yang shape just under the layers palette. I might have a try at your method though and see it is a better solution!
Have you tried adjusting the gamma under the exposure tab. My nikon lens can take quite hazy images and I just increase the gamma any colours dark and light seperate quite nicely. You can then always desaturate a bit and then put a colour filter over it to give a more even consistant tone