Please Give me Your Opinion

Well we finally had a little tiny bit of snow today so I took my camera for a walk. 

I found this very cool garden shed that I've walked past lots of times before and never seen.
It was partially covered with a bittersweet vine so with all the leaves in the summer that's probably why I never seen it.  Anyway I love the blue paint on the one side and the other side is so faded you can hardly see the blue paint. Its the last few pics of the pics below.

What I would like your opinion on is this.... while I was editing I remembered something I had read about changing the clarity to give a soft look.  I have always been a fan of setting the clarity to about +40 in Lightroom to get that sharp, gritty look. The following images are about + 50 to about +70 to get really super sharp and gritty and then the soft ones are about -40 to -50 to make them softer and ya know what????  I kinda like that look too. 

So to you my blog followers and ones who will read this....what is your opinion?  I'm thinking I shouldn't always edit the way I like it but they way you all like it sometimes too.  

So please do tell and leave me a comment about your preferences.
 I'm curious to see what you all say. Here are some sharp and soft pics.

Oh and sorry there are so many pics but I wanted to give you a variety. 

If you click on the images I think you will be able to compare them better. 

I think this composition is my favorite.

Thanks for all your help in advance.

Linking with Tom for THE BARN COLLECTIVE
the gang at OUR WORLD TUESDAY.

Have a great week everyone. 


Ruth Hiebert said…
I am a fan of having sharp pictures, when at all possible, but the soft look certainly has a place as an artistic element.As for how you edit, here's my humble opinion.Edit the picture to your liking, after all it's your picture, your work.There will always be someone who doesn't't like a picture edited a certain way, but they have to edit to their liking.
I do like that little shed, it makes a great shot.
Bill said…
Absolutely what Ruth said! But considering your work and subjects, I'd vote sharp. It is YOUR look. All of these tools are there for you to express yourself ANYWAY YOU WANT!
Michelle said…
I also like the sharp pictures, but I am a fan of any of your work. It is always excellent.
Lea said…
They are all beautiful!
I do very little editing of my photos, but it is occasionally necessary to get something worth posting. And it does not bother me to see highly edited photos of other bloggers.
I say edit to your own satisfaction.
Tom said…
OK Felicia, I can remember EVER seeing an image on you blog that I didn't make me fall in love. With that said, my favorites are the first ones. I edit a lot because so many of my photos need work to make them presentable. My advise if it's worth anything, is to do what ever brings you joy. Thanks for stopping by and please come again when you can.
Pauline W said…
I'm with the others. Editing is entirely up to the individual and your photos are always perfect to me. My arms gets sore if I spend too much time editing so I rarely bother. With your pics today I actually prefer the softer look on all except the first shot. But I think that's because I all of them as soft and romantic scenes.
The Furry Gnome said…
I like the sharp ones, which are the way I edit my own photos, often with a little bit of darkening. They're all great photos.
rupam sarma said…
All pics are awesome. Love your post.
Yogi♪♪♪ said…
Well I have my preferences but when I look at photoblogs I am really interested in your preferences and your visions. I have my own vision but when I look at others I am looking for inspiration.

I know this is no help, I would say to trust your instincts. Go with what you like.
Paul said…
Wonderful group of scenes from your beautiful valey and perfect for this comparison.
Like some of the others I prefer sharp over soft. For my own pictures I find myself trying to get the picture to show what I was seeing when I took it and that usually involves a bit of sharpening and other minor adjustments.
I love all of your work, in my book you can do no wrong! My personal preference is for crisp and sharp.
Marco Luijken said…
Hello Felicia,
Wonderful pictures. Great the red houses in the snow.
The first 5 pictures are so nice.

Kind reagrds,
eileeninmd said…
Hello Felicia, I always enjoy all your photos. Lovely series. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and week ahead!
Wayne said…
I used to sharpen pretty much every photo and a professional suggested that wasn't a good idea. Of course, I'm not shooting for a professional, I'm shooting for me.

Ultimately, I did change my workflow. I rarely sharpen the whole photo; I use the adjustment tool to sharpen and add clarity to the subject, to draw a little more attention to it.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

I love all of them.
Sandra said…
these are wonderful, all of them, but I love sharp and the sharper the better. the soft is nice though. I love the non blue side best of the shed but the whole thing is beautiful.. what a find... so true about the beholder view, this beholder is a sharp person
Christine said…
I'm always impressed with your photos,Felicia & admire your artistry any way you choose but I have to say that I prefer the first photo with the more gritty edge to it & the last photo with the softer look.
NC Sue said…
I see you're getting lots of opinions. I like all of them especially the third set, first image.
Thanks for sharing at
I'm with Wayne above. I used to over-sharpen everything (you can never have too much sharpness, right?) until a blogger told me my photos "hurt his eyes"! It finally dawned on my that yes, you can over-sharpen and the photo is no longer pleasing to the eyes when done to excess. I like to just sharpen the area I want to draw attention to (never the entire photo) and I will often blur other areas. And sometimes blurring an image will give it a very dreamy and pleasing look.
Brian King said…
They're all beautiful! Gorgeous scenes! Never shoot or edit photos in an attempt to please other people (unless you're getting paid, of course). Do it the way YOU like. Too much of anything can be bad, including editing. Some photos work well with increased clarity and others work better with some softening. Sky/cloud photos don't always do well with a lot of clarity, sharpening, or heavy changes in highlights. The changes become obvious and don't look natural. Sky photos sometimes look very nice with the softer touch. Unless you're trying to achieve a very specific look or effect, any editing that makes the photo look too unnatural is probably too much. Over-sharpening is likely one of the top mistakes, if not the top mistake, a lot of photographers make when editing (not referring to you). It's a big no-no in bird and wildlife photography. That doesn't mean adjusting the sharpness is anything else, doing it TOO much is where the problem lies. Keep it natural and you can't really go wrong.
Pamela Gordon said…
I always love your photography Felicia and was really interested in the comments on your comparison photos today. Myself, I prefer the sharper (natural) focus especially for outdoor nature shots. Softening has its place in some photos especially indoors or vignettes, but I think the sharper photos are best. I agree with what Brian said about the sky and clouds. Too much editing distorts the image and colours. Great question Felicia. You have a great eye for composition and detail!
Linda said…
Well, I thought I would like the sharp versions but actually I love the soft ones. Sometimes I sharpen in Photoshop using a High Pass layer technique and then I often erase the edges on the layer so that the non-essential parts of the image are softer. The eye does not register detail in the entire field of vision anyway.
Lady Fi said…
Gorgeous shots! I like the softer versions of the shots, although they could be less soft but not as gritty - for me that would be an ideal compromise... But gorgeous!
Photo Cache said…
These are lovely shots btw, but I am all about the soft.

Worth a Thousand Words
Debby Ray said…
Oh my...where have I been?? First of all, your header photo about took my breath away! I love all of these gorgeous shots. I think it is just a matter of what feeling you are trying to portray in the photo...whether it is capturing every detail or softening a bit to create more of a mood. To me, the same photo can say different things, depending on how you edit it. Sometimes I like to just sharpen a certain focal point and soften the rest. I am a fan of the softness. I am also a fan of detail. I like the ability to create the different that answer confuse you?? :)
Debby Ray said…
And I will add that I agree with Brian...these are YOUR photos...but thanks for asking for our opinions, such as they are :)
Melissa said…
What a pretty day you had! I think the softening effect worked best on the third photo, I guess because it softens the unpainted barn/shed wood.
Saša S. said…
Cold winter photos or old things looks better if they are sharp. Romantic or foggy/misty need to be soften. But nature need to looks natural, don't over sharp or over soft. Only B&W allow high/low contrast and more/less shapenest/softnes.

Your photos are good captured. I like your blog. I miss more detail photos (go closer and closer and closer) and more black and white photos.

I take photos in RAW and use LR5. For sharp photos I never use slider CLARITY. I allways do with DETAIL slider SHARPENING-AMOUNT 30-80 and NOISE REDUCT slider LUMINANCE 10-40. Radius-Detail-Masking as much as necessary (in macro).
For soften I use CLARITY (-10, -20) and sharpening by DETAIL (as above).

ps: Sorry for my English, I hope you understand the point.
Connie Smiley said…
What a lovely set of photos, Felicia! I like the softer photo best in every case here. It adds a dreamy quality that seems to fit with the overcast day.
Molly said…
It is tricky isn't it? I always go with the edit that jumps out at me. There is something about the extra grittiness in these that I like. The softer images work too but I do think I prefer the sharper ones

I think I like the sharper shots or is that just because as I age so do my eyes and maybe I need the sharper look. I usually forget about editing until after i have shown a pic I like but actually don't.
Kay L. Davies said…
Now, I've very carefully not read the other opinions, so that I can tell you my first impressions and give you my opinion. I think the soft focus is perfect for the old cabin, and for the blue shed...but the sharp focus works beautifully on bright red farm buildings.
I've always believed in setting the focus to suit the subject, and you seem to have an excellent camera. Since my last camera died, I've just been using my cell phone, and not doing much editing. Not like having a camera at all.
Your dusting of snow is beautiful, too, by the way. We've had lots of snow in the last couple of husband, who has driven in snow for years, actually skidded and damaged his car. I'm not driving anywhere any time soon, unless it is an emergency, and even then I'd rather call a taxi.
Keep up the good work.
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel
NatureFootstep said…
edit for us? Yes, if you want to sell your work that is important.

MYself I usually let the image tell me what "it shall become". Some images is better sharp, other is better soft. It depends on the image itself.

Playing around is fun and can be done with everything. My visitors seem to like both art and SOOC images. Probably yours too. Making the images soft crates a dreamy look to the images. I found it suits slighty overexposed images.
Do what is fun and that you like.
Soon christmas so I wish you a happy one.
Helma said…
You have at least still snow.
In the Netherlands, for years no real snow more cases unfortunately.
Beautiful white photos :-)
Valerie said…
A delightful series of subjects you've chosen here. Generally I prefer sharp images but again it depends on the chosen scene/image. With the examples you've provided, I choose sharp for scenes 1 and 4, while soft seems more appropriate for scenes 2, 3 and 5 - that treatment in No. 5 especially seems to bring out the gorgeous colour of the shrub/tree. Thank you for sharing your wonderful images and, in case we all get too busy next week, I wish you and yours a very happy and safe Christmas.
Helma said…
I find this very beautiful zoal them ehbt edited.
In all foot are the 2nd picture the moosit.
I also previously worked in Lightroom but since my crash with the PC I have conflicts with editing the photos in lightroom.
Rose said…
I like them all...I think it would depend on my mood on that particular day on which I liked best. LOL