Entering these photos in an art fair; how's my editing?

nmasters

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Hello everyone!
I am part of my high school's photography club, and today the art teacher told us about a county art fair.
I showed her my latest photography, and she picked these four to consider entering in the fair. She said her favorites are 3 and 4. I want to make sure I can make these photos look their best before I email them to her.
All of my editing is done in Lightroom. Is there anything you would do different with the editing? Please feel free to edit my photos further. Thanks!
I realize I have posted some of these before for critique on my composition, hope you guys don't mind me posting them again.

#1 I hate how the sky looks in this photo. I used the in-camera HDR feature (Nikon D5100). I tried my best to make it look more natural but no luck :x.

Dilapidated by nico418, on Flickr


#2

Branch Out by nico418, on Flickr

#3


Cracks by nico418, on Flickr

#4

Reach by nico418, on Flickr
 

Dominantly

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For #1, you have quite a bit of banding in the sky, and a halo around your house.What did you do to it in LR? What did the original look like?
 

matthewo

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nmasters

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[URL="http://www.flickr.com/photos/40107580@N03/6757502145/"]
For #1, you have quite a bit of banding in the sky, and a halo around your house.What did you do to it in LR? What did the original look like?



6757502145_a4dfc7d841_b.jpg
[/URL]
THISFinal by nico418, on Flickr

Here is the original. I edited first in Aperture a long time ago, and I switched to Lightroom recently so I don't really remember what I did to it in Aperture. In LR I just bumped vibrance, clarity, contrast, and recovery.
 

Tiberius47

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#1 I hate how the sky looks in this photo. I used the in-camera HDR feature (Nikon D5100). I tried my best to make it look more natural but no luck :x.

Dilapidated by nico418, on Flickr

There's your problem. Cameras are for capturing photos, not editing them.
 
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nmasters

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Dominantly

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For #1, you have quite a bit of banding in the sky, and a halo around your house.What did you do to it in LR? What did the original look like?



6757502145_a4dfc7d841_b.jpg

THISFinal by nico418, on Flickr

Here is the original. I edited first in Aperture a long time ago, and I switched to Lightroom recently so I don't really remember what I did to it in Aperture. In LR I just bumped vibrance, clarity, contrast, and recovery.

I like this photo, but with the editing, I was say less is more. I would try and eliminate the thick tree branches at the top, and then edit the rest of the photo in 3 parts: the house, the sky, and then everything else (in separate layers). Notice how when you upped the vibrance, you put a blue cast across just about everything? I prefer gray tones in old wood buildings like that, but doing so in a way that preserves the natural look and colors. by this I mean editing it do you leave the roof, highlights, windows, etc alone.

I also like #3.
 
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nmasters

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For #1, you have quite a bit of banding in the sky, and a halo around your house.What did you do to it in LR? What did the original look like?



6757502145_a4dfc7d841_b.jpg

THISFinal by nico418, on Flickr

Here is the original. I edited first in Aperture a long time ago, and I switched to Lightroom recently so I don't really remember what I did to it in Aperture. In LR I just bumped vibrance, clarity, contrast, and recovery.

I like this photo, but with the editing, I was say less is more. I would try and eliminate the thick tree branches at the top, and then edit the rest of the photo in 3 parts: the house, the sky, and then everything else (in separate layers). Notice how when you upped the vibrance, you put a blue cast across just about everything? I prefer gray tones in old wood buildings like that, but doing so in a way that preserves the natural look and colors. by this I mean editing it do you leave the roof, highlights, windows, etc alone.

I also like #3.


WOOD1 by nico418, on Flickr

lighter

WOOD2 by nico418, on Flickr

here is my edit. I think the lighter one is better.
 

Dominantly

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That lighter one is way better than you first one, but a bit too vibrant for me still. I wonder if you were to lay that over the original and reduce opacity on the layer by 60% what it would look like.
 
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That lighter one is way better than you first one, but a bit too vibrant for me still. I wonder if you were to lay that over the original and reduce opacity on the layer by 60% what it would look like.
Unfortunately, I'm not too keen on how to do that. Is that possible in Lightroom? I don't have photoshop yet.

I just saw your link on layers and PP. Very helpful and interesting!
 

fokker

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^ Those edits are a big improvement, but still a pretty obvious halo around the roof of the house. IMO I wouldn't enter the first one without at least a good edit on it, it kinda drags down the other three photos, which are really quite good.
 

Dominantly

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Well not really. With PS you get the ability to edit with layers/blending/masks/etc, and that is where you really dig into a photo.
With LR you should work from the top to bottom, and I would suggest avoiding the saturation and vibrance section. If you want to enhance the colors skip down to HSL and adjust the colors there individually, along with the luminance.
If you are going for a more contrast driven, kind of HDR feel, colorful photo; then you can adjust your tone curve setting to mid or high contrast instead of linear, and go from there.

Maybe something like this:
Done in LR4 beta
http://dominantly.smugmug.com/photos/i-CZCNBhh/0/L/i-CZCNBhh-L.jpg
 
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