If you follow my blog regularly, you probably read my tutorial Lightroom Organization in 3 Simple Steps and you know when I start editing new photo in Lightroom I move it from CANDIDATES collection to IN PROGRESS collection and it stays there until I am happy with the final result and it is ready to be saved as the final JPEG and published.
Sometimes photo stays in IN PROGRESS collection only for minutes but sometimes for months or even years. When I am not able to achieve the desired result fast I tend to jump to another image giving up on unfinished one for a while.
Today’s featured photo stayed in IN PROGRESS collection for more than two years and I tried to complete it on more than a few occasions without much success. But, when I saw it yesterday, I recognized right away that this photo would illustrate the best the power of HDR processing technology and it took me only minutes to process it and publish to my blog.
Shooting and Processing
Before taking the featured photo, I was well aware of the extreme dynamic range of the light in the scene. It was at the sunset and the sun was still above the horizon making the sky extremely bright. At the same time, the forest behind the tree was pretty much in complete darkness.
I took 7 bracketed shots on a tripod using the shortest possible focal length of 10mm with the oddly shaped tree in the foreground as the main attraction of the composition.
Even though the light was extremely dynamic, I did not need all 7 bracketed images for HDR processing, 6 was enough.
I used the HDR Pro module of Photoshop to merge 6 bracketed shots to HDR (check my free guide “Natural Looking HDR Workflow“) and, when I had newly merged image back in Lightroom, I applied Gentle Wave preset from my Free Preset Collection and I was done.
Deconstructing Featured Photo
Camera: Canon 60D
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm
Focal Length: 10mm
Bracketing: 7 shots (-3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +3)
Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 – Check my FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Review.
Ballhead: FEISOL CB-40D
Processing: HDR Processed
Lightroom: import, tagging, export to Photoshop HDR Pro
Photoshop: 6 exposures (-3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2) used to tone map image, 32-bit tiff image was saved to Lightroom (see my free guide “Natural Looking HDR Workflow”)
Lightroom: straightening, cropping, color correction, export as PSD image
Photoshop: cleaning, contrast.
- Topaz DeNoise helped to eliminate noise in the sky and ocean
- Topaz Detail was used to enhance details in foreground elements