Natural Looking HDR in Lightroom in Minutes
After visiting San Francisco Bay Area for years I realized that trying to predict or even guess the weather are impossible tasks. I stopped trying it a long time ago. All you can do is to wait for a half hour or so and there is a high chance that everything will change.
Before taking this shot at Battery Godfrey I was at China Beach and it was a clear day with the boring sky. But, only a short drive later I witnessed this amazing view with the low clouds and not usual fog, covering the top of the Golden Gate Bridge.
And after waiting for another 15min I managed to place a cargo ship leaving San Francisco in my composition.
Everything was unplanned and unpredictable.
The shooting part was easy. I was shooting on a tripod and I took 3 bracketing shots with 1EV intervals.(-1, 0, 1). All my attention was concentrated on how to place 3 main elements of the scene (tree, bridge, and cargo ship) into a meaningful composition.
Camera: Sony a6000
Focal Length: 16mm
Shooting Mode: Aperture Priority (A)
Bracketing: 3 (-1, 0, 1)
Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 – Check my FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Review.
Ballhead: FEISOL CB-40D
In the next step, I cropped the photo tighter to improve the composition.
I used the Crop Tool.
First, I applied HDR Base 1 preset form HDR Preset Collection and later used TOOLKIT adjustments to boost the contrast and saturation.
The Lightroom Preset Editing Formula: HDR Base 1 (2, 9, 13, 17, 22, 32)
Photoshop: I used the Stamp Tool to clean up the composition by removing distracting elements (stones, debris).
- Topaz DeNoise was used to reduce digital noise (sky).
- Topaz Clarity was used to enhance details and boost colors (foreground, mountains).