But how extensively you use the levels is the key. I never touch those settings. I'd rather let a photograph stand for itself. I've seen a few other shots you did where massive amount of editing was necessary to achieve the effects in the image.
It's sad that people is more concerned about how much editing was applied than the light conditions of a photograph. Actually in most of my images i don't even touch the levels nor the saturation, an example is the foto "the sentinel". It is exactly what the camera recorded. But it could seem I spent months editing it. I usually apply levels only once in the whole picture, just putting the black dot at the beginning of the histogram and adjusting the middle one.
Take this as a suggestion: if you want to take good pictures, you should start to think more about how the light.
Also, can you give me examples of which photo you think was massively edited? Because none of them actually required more than 3 minutes.
By putting the black dot at the beginning of the histogram it just shows you don't understand lighting conditions. Though. I don't know where your histograms are located on the banding. You're killing shadows when you do that because the camera says there is info there - else the histogram would have done that itself.
You see, you are more concerned about photoshop than the actual light, if you link the histograms with lightning conditions...they are differnt things. For decades photographers have been using film cameras and those cameras were not able to record all the informations in the shadows we are used to in the digital era. So what? I've seen masterpieces done with those techniques!
By lightning conditions I mean the light that hits the landscape while shooting, not the histograms or photoshop. Moreover, by putting the black dot at the beginning of the histogram, I'm not killing shadows, I'm just saying photoshop were black begins, so if you put that black dot exactly at the beginning of the histogram you are making black just one pixel.
And also, what's the problem of having black shadows? shadows are as important as light, they give the sense of volume.
Also I'm convinced that a good photograph has to be made in the field, photoshop is just 5% of the process.
Each one of the photos taken by the wildvisions team is the result of days of exploration of an area. We wait days for the right light.