HDR Efex Pro 2

Religious Artifacts in The Met

Welcome back! A quick post today after having just wrapped up a special project and doing a couple of camera club presentations.  Needless to say, the past week or so has been super busy but let's dive right in.

My last stop was at the Carroll Camera Club in Westminster Maryland where I presented "An Introduction to HDR" and shared my workflow using Nik's HDR Efex Pro 2. I really enjoyed the visit there and thank Allen Arnold and Earl Deickman (President and Vice-President, respectively) for their invite and hospitality.

We really got into the nuts and bolts of the HDR process and there was lots of discussion and interaction with the club members, who enjoyed the presentation. I processed a couple of sets of brackets and just wanted to quickly show the before and after images from the second set.

Religious Artifacts Photograph - Before HDR Efex Pro 2
Religious Artifacts Photograph - Before HDR Efex Pro 2

This room full of religious artifacts within the Metropolitan Museum of Art

in New York City was dimly lit when I visited, making photography quite challenging. With centuries old works of art and plexiglass cases, the last thing you want to do is use a flash. The answer, bracketing to capture the full dynamic range of the scene.

Religious Artifacts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Religious Artifacts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art

After processing a 3-shot bracket (-2, 0, +2) in HDR Efex Pro 2 with it's many adjustment features and control points, this is the resulting image.

From out of the darkness, we can now see clearly into the adjoining rooms of this scene, as well as detail not available initially.

Note: The light rectangular spot behind the Chandelier is a reflective spot from the top of the plexiglass case. Since this image is for demonstrative purposes only, I did not invest the additional time to remove that reflection. 

Thanks for visiting!

I am behind on site visits but will be dropping in to see your fine works in the days ahead. :-)

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4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
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4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM

Red Shed

After a few days on the trail and living out of a travel bag, it's good to be back home to settle back into a bit of normalcy. I am way behind on site visits, which will soon be remedied. Today I want to share an image from Winter of 2011. It's one I did not post back then because I had so grown tired of looking at snow. :-) Well, since it has been some time and snow has been forecast for early next week, this is as good a time as any to show this one. It's a red shed at a nearby nursery where trees, shrubs, mulch and other outdoor products are sold. For years the shed always looked like, well, an old shed. Somehow through the magic of a snowfall and some early morning sunlight it took on a more eye-pleasing look, albeit temporarily.

After running the 5-bracket shot through HDR Efex Pro 2 and applying some finishing touches in Photoshop CS6, the results can be seen below.

Red Shed Photo
Red Shed Photo

Click image to enlarge or purchase ~

 Surely there will be plenty of new snow images coming as we move along deeper into the Winter season and we will post them here before starting to whine about Spring. :-)

Thanks so much for Visiting!

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4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM

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And Baby Makes Three

Since we are having our first snowfall of the season in my area, I thought I would post this image from last Winter at a nearby golf course.  I had just shot this image of a snowy pond and was walking back toward my vehicle when I came upon what appears to be a family gathering. :-) I stopped a good distance away so I would not disturb their outing and zoomed in to capture the moment.

And Baby Makes Three
And Baby Makes Three

This is a single image that was tonemapped in Nik's HDR Efex Pro 2. Afterward, the image was softened in PS.

We photographers can sometimes not leave well enough alone and this was one of the moments. I ran the image through Topaz Adjust and applied the "Dramatic" filter (found in the "Vibrant" collection). While this effect added more detail, it initially left me undecided about which version I liked best. In the end, the original soft look was my choice as it seemed to fit the mood, but I would like to hear your take on it.

Here is the more detailed version below.

And Baby Makes Three - Detailed
And Baby Makes Three - Detailed

Thanks for stopping by!

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4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM

USCGC Eagle

Happy Columbus Day! Here in the US, this day is to commemorate the first journey to the Americas by Christopher Columbus in 1492. The actual date was October 12 but the Federal Government has move many "holidays" to Mondays, and this one falls on the 2nd Monday of October each year.

Since I have no photos (nor anyone else) of the Nina, the Pinta or the Santa Maria, I decided to at least post a tall ship image for today.

USCGC Eagle
USCGC Eagle

- Click image to enlarge or purchase -

This 295 foot vessel was launched in 1936 by Germany and transferred to the United States after World War II in 1946. The Eagle is used for training purposes and can often be found along the US east coast, although there was a year-long trip to Australia in 1987.

If you live in the Boston or New York areas, you may have likely seen this historic vessel in and around the harbors during tall ship gathering events.

Processing

Punch Settings - USCGC Eagle
Punch Settings - USCGC Eagle

What began as a 3-shot bracket run through HDR Efex Pro 2, ended up with me selecting the "0" exposure and processing it in Lightroom 4.

By the way, Lightroom 4.2 is now available (Update).

Once in LR , I applied the "Punch" preset that comes with the package and is located under the "Lightroom General Presets" dropdown.

Presets, as many of you know, make great starting points and after a few slider adjustments can dramatically change an image.

The settings shown here worked well for the image above, but every image is different and experimenting is always the best practice for the best results.

Thanks for visiting!

4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
4-4-2011 8-19-18 PM
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