Colorful Winter Sunset at Saint Lawrence River (Montreal)

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This is my contribution to winter photography. Even though I do not really enjoy cold weather, sometimes it results in unique landscapes.

Travel Photography Blog - Montreal, Canada
Canada. Montreal. Lachine
Loc: 45.429813, -73.690427


Once again, I went shooting to my favorite place in Montreal (Rene-Levesque Park) which happens to be not far from where I live. I setup my tripod and waited for the moment when sun was about to hide below the horizon. The light was fairly dynamic and in order to cover entire range I shot series of 9 shots using Magic Lantern firmware add-on. I knew that 9 bracketed exposures was total overkill but I just wanted to cover all my bases. The amazing light lasted 3-5 minutes at most and then it became ordinary and dull.


Because of the dynamic light and variety of details and textures in my composition, I was planning to merge bracketed shots to HDR using Photomatix. Normally, Photomatix does the great job to emphasize details and textures but in this case I just could not get it right in Photomatix. If you check image on the left, this is the best result I managed to achieve and I was not happy with it. The final image looks too contrasted and “cold”.

Since I have few tools in my arsenal for creating HDR photo, I gave up on Photomatix and decided to use luminosity masking technique. This technique gives you more control over the entire process but tends to be more time consuming.

I picked only 3 shots (-2, -1, 0) and blended them together in Photoshop using transparency masks (for more details check my Review: “The Art of Digital Blending”).

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog - Montreal. Saint Lawrence River

Camera: Canon 60D
Lens: Canon 17-70
Focal Length: 17mm
ISO: 100
Aperture: F8
Bracketing: 3 shots ( -2, -1, 0 )
Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442  – Check my FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Review.
Ballhead: FEISOL CB-40D

Processing: Digital Blending with Lminosity Masks

Lightroom: import, tagging, contrast, color correction. I produced 3 separate images and exported them to Photoshop.
Photoshop I opened 3 bracketed photos directly in Photoshop and placed each image on separate layer. Then, I used luminosity masking techniques to create final image.

Photoshop Plugins: