3 Takes On One Image

Richard Charpentier Arizona, HDR, Lightroom 3, Photography, Photomatix, Prescott 6 Comments

Last night I tinkered with a few images after taking a walk through the Granite Dells.  No monsoonal downpours or shockingly beautiful skies yet.  But hey, I’m patiently waiting.

Still, there were some interesting clouds to be seen while walking in the Dells last evening.  So I did take a few shots to see if there would be something I like.  Also, as noted in the previous post, I was pondering the effects in “The Book of Eli” and wanted to toy with some ideas.

The first image in today’s post is pretty simple.  It’s the original 0EV shot, unprocessed.

An interesting scene.  And yes, the dead tree shows up once more.  There are tons of dead trees throughout the Dells.  There are live ones too.  An interesting scene if you like the Dells, granite rolling off into the distance, and some clouds floating around.

Of course, I did 3 exposures just in case I wanted to play with an HDR.  And I did that too.  Decided to do an HDR of this image just to see what could come out of it.  The image is below.  Personally, I think the HDRd image is a little more dramatic.  I used a very light touch in Photomatix in order to create the HDR.

Still, I wanted to try something a little different with a landscape.  Clouds were available.  The sun was setting.  And I thought about that movie.  So, with only Lightroom I decided to really play with the image and see what I could do.  I used the Develop module to work on contrast, then I used the brush tools in the develop module, and finally I used a gradient as well on the sky.

Not quite that super high key effect from the movie, but approaching it.  I just couldn’t bring myself to totally desaturate the sky.  First, I pushed the recovery slider up in the Basic panel of the Develop Module to 100.  Next, the fill light was pushed to 100 as well.  Contrast and clarity were also pushed all the way to 100!  Vibrance was pushed to +36 and Saturation was pushed to -73 (still preserves some color because of the Vibrance bump).  Finally, I set a strong contrast in the Tone Curve Dialogue.

Next, on to the brush and graduated filter.  Love these tools.  The brush was used to clarify, and desaturate the sky further.  Finally, when finished with that I popped over to the graduated filter and used it only on the sky.  Pushed the exposure up a little to get the truly unreal look in the sky that still blends toward the foreground.

So, there you go with my odd little experiment.  I’m going to keep playing with this concept to see if I can really produce something interesting.  In the end, just a fun experiment for me.  Remember, keep your photography and editing fun for you.   Can’t be all too serious you know!

Comments 6

  1. I like the HDR version too….more drama and color, but not overdone – why are you using Photomatix though, are you not on the CS5 train yet?

  2. Post

    Ah Jason, remember my upgrade fiasco with CS5? Yeah, I always did suites, and I’m not allowed to do the stand alone upgrade….. As a small business owner, can’t afford to by the stand alone any time soon…..

    Plus, still like Photomatix better.

  3. You ought to make these into a triptych. That would be yet another take on it.

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