My location scouting session to the potash mine heap in Giesen produced some presentable images. Time to return to the place with better light. It was a sunny spring day and my friend Dominik and I rode off for a nice tour.

20160402-Potash-Dump-Giesen-001We stopped at the potash mine heap near Giesen (which is near Hildesheim, which is near Hanover) for a quick photoshoot. To be honest it was a bike ride with a quick photo session, not a photo session with a bike ride if you get what I mean.

So when we arrived at the site at 2 pm there was harsh sunlight, which is far from perfect for an outdoor shooting session as the educated photographer knows.


I made some two dozen images from several angles and we continued our tour.

20160402-Potash-Dump-Giesen-003 20160402-Potash-Dump-Giesen-004

Now for my confession. I did not bring a polarizer nor a gradient gray filter for the shoot. A white mountain in direct sunlight is somewhat…bright. The sky was not really blue on the images and so I had to tweak quite a little in Lightroom.

Here is a raw image from the shoot:

Giesen-RawVery high contrast, white mountain, pale grey sky, dark bike and rider. So what did I do in Lightroom ? Here is a selection of my actions to give you an idea how the image was processed:

  • raised the dark areas to brighten bike and rider,
  • increased saturation
  • added a gradient filter with the following settings:
    • exposure brought down a little
    • saturation increased
    • colour temperature shifted to blue (to make the sky blue again…)
  • then I had to use the brush tool to increase the brightness of the potash mine heap again, since the gradient filter brought the brightness down

Especially the last step took some time. You have to get the borders between the bright heap and the darker sky absolutely spot clean, otherwise there will be a light shimmer around the edge.

Bottom line
Photo shoots do not need to be extensive and complicated to receive good results. To a certain degree one can trade preparation and complexity for post processing. In my case the lack of gear (filters) and the unfavorable time of day (harsh sunlight) could be compensated by an increased effort in Lightroom.