Friday, July 31, 2009

back to hdr

I have been doing a few night shots for a local hotel and thought this image ended up ok.
I shot with a 24mm lens at iso 100 and bracketed over a 9 stop range. Just used ambient light and auto white balance.
The longest exposures were probably around 4 seconds or longer. Use of a tripod was necessary here.
Once downloaded through lightroom i sent 5 of the exposures to photomatix pro.
After tone mapping i basically had the rough start of the image. I did alot of retouching as there was a bit of flare spots in the shot and sidewalks and roads always show tons of cracks which had to be fixed. For the road i just duplicated my background layer and then selected the pavement using a few of the selection tools. I then filled the selection with black and changed this layers blend mode to luminosity. I dropped the opacity to 50% and the road looked freshly paved. Actually i think it ended up a bit too dark in the end after i did a couple curves adjustments.
I rotated the photo a bit to straighten it and sharpened it about 45% with smart sharpen. The curves boosted the contrast a bit and fixed the color. Color here is pretty subjective but in the end i liked it.
I also had to extend the branches as there were none in the upper right hand quarter of the image. I just used the clone tool set to 100% and took branches from various other parts. I filled in some gaping holes in the rest of the branches this way also.
One other part i had to fix was the delta sign. Part of the D was burnt out and the rest of it picked up some blue color through parts of it. I made a selection of the parts i wanted white and hit refine edge and feathered the selection by 1.5. Then just fill the selection with white.

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