Monday, February 11, 2008

hdr combo

The above image was shot in a very dark arena (turned into a convention room). I photographed the event and then at the end, when the premier was speaking, I took my tripod to the back of the rink and bracketed over a 7 stop range.
On the normal exposure for the crowd, the speaker and screens were blown out. Normal for the speaker put the crowd way too dark. It took way over exposing both to bring up the red you see on the curtains as they were just these little led lights.
Another perfect candidate for photomatix.
Photomatix did a very good job at getting the entire image close but where the crowd moved a bit they got a little funky. Also the speaker and screens were still a bit light. To fix this i opened the photomatix tonemapped image, one of the original exposures where the stage was properly exposed, and one where the crowd was properly exposed, in photoshop. I used the photomatix image as my background and then using the move tool and holding the shift key down i dragged the other two images, one at a time, onto this background image. I created a layer mask on both of the top two layers and filled them with black to hide all of those layers allowing only the background to show through. I then painted in white on the layer mask to reveal the stage on one layer and the crowd on the other. Make sure you use a really soft edged brush so it blends in well.
This is an extremely easy task as layer masks could not be easier. If you make a mistake just paint over your troubled area in black and it is fixed.
Oh, and if your showing a friend your final version make sure that you leave your layers pallate open so they can see all your layers and masks. Its impressive to someone who doesn't know much about photoshop (ha).

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