Category Archives: Painting

HDR Toning of a Single Exposure

Several people asked what went into the processing of this photo. Hopefully the following will prove useful. I’ll note my usual workflow path along the way.

I do all my work in Lightroom 3 (LR3) and Photoshop CS5. My RAW files are imported with LR3 and converted from Nikon NEF to DNG in the process. I also catalog and manage my files and do all my RAW adjustments in LR3. The RAW processor is the same engine as in Photoshop but with a more user friendly interface. I also use LR3 to convert PSD files to JPEG,  to export to various SmugMug, Photodex Producer (which I use for making slide shows) sites and programs, and to print. I find this to be most efficient because of built-in and customizable templates and presets. There are also a number of free plugins available online that are very useful. When I select a file to edit, a copy is opened in CS5 and the edited changes are saved back to LR3. And it’s all done seamlessly.

After RAW adjustments and cropping in LR3, ninety percent of the rest of my post processing is done with Nik Software. Rather than detail all of their tools here, I’ll refer you to: Nik Software. You can purchase it for download online at their website, or if you can wait for shipping you can purchase it for substantially less at B&H Photo or Adorama.

Original

(Click on the images for a more detailed view)

Most of the effect that was commented on took place in the last step listed here but I thought it might be instructive to go through the entire process. For this image I started with Nik Raw Presharpener (as I do with every image) with an emphasis on Edge sharpening (this is not the same as output sharpening, which I rarely do). Then I used the Pro Contrast filter within Nik’s Color Efex Pro 3.0. I normally use the default settings and with one click the contrast and color correction is done to my liking 90% of the time. This resulted in the photo below.

Pre Sharpening and Pro Contrast

Next up is Nik Tonal Contrast  (also in Color Efex Pro 3.0). This filter gives control of contrast in highlight, midtone and shadow tonal ranges individually without affecting the rest of the image. This can bring out hidden detail and make the image “jump off the page”.

After Tonal Contrast

I used Nik Viveza’ s control points to lighten the dark areas above the door and darken the old cardboard lying beneath it.

Viveza

CS5’s Vibrance setting was used to bump up the Blues a little.

Vibrance

For the HDR effect, I used Nik HDR Efex Pro. It does an excellent job with multiple exposures but it has a feature for applying HDR toning effects to a single exposure, as well. I used a preset named Clean City 1 to achieve this effect.

Finished

(to see this at SmugMug, click here)

And there you have it. I hope you found that some of this answered your questions.

Advertisements

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin in Fremont

Vladimir Ilyich LeninI posted a full-on photo of old Ilyich earlier this year. But he was standing in front of a falafel shop and nail salon.This time I thought I would give him a more appropriate background.I took this shot at the same time as the other but I was standing at his toes and shooting up at his head 16 feet above.For the previous photo and the story behind why he's standing on a street corner in the funky Fremont district of Seattle, click here: http://robertsjohnj.smugmug.com/DailyPhotos/2011-Daily-Photo/15278955_3Cro2#1182046551_cvHWf-A-LB

I posted a full-on photo of old Ilyich earlier this year. But he was standing in front of a falafel shop and nail salon.This time I thought I would give him a more appropriate background.

I took this shot at the same time as the other but I was standing at his toes and shooting up at his head 16 feet above.

For the previous photo, click here: http://robertsjohnj.smugmug.com/DailyPhotos/2011-Daily-Photo/15278955_3Cro2#1182046551_cvHWf-A-LB

This 16 foot bronze statue of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin stands on a corner in Fremont (aka The Artists’ Republic of Fremont, Center of the Known Universe). Anywhere else it would be controversial but here, in the original counter-culture center of Seattle, it is just one more curiosity. It originally stood in Lenin Square in Poprad, Slovakia. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union it was sent to the scrap heap where it was bought by a Seattle artist who was teaching there at the time. He mortgaged his home to ship it here but he was killed in a car accident before he could find a permanent home for it.

It and other Fremont artworks are often dressed up for various festivities. During the annual Solstice Parade (where people ride bikes in the nude down the main street) it has been dressed up to look like John Lennon. During Gay Pride Week it has been dressed in drag.

A note of interest to photographers: Fremont is the headquarters for Getty Images and Adobe Systems.

Last Rays of Sun

Last Rays of SunThis is my pet Azalea. When I bought it 6 years ago, I pruned it somewhat like the rest of my Bonsai plants. I wanted it to have cloud-like layers of blossoms. But by the third year, it began to bloom so profusely that I haven't had the heart to keep shaping it. Now it grows as it will and is still a huge delight, especially as the setting sun illuminates it.Some of you may remember a few months ago when I was bemoaning the fact that I didn't have a medium format camera. Well, today I got one. But it wasn't the $30,000 Hasselblad that I was hoping for. Instead it was a $30 Holga 120N. It shoots 6x6 120 film just like the Hasselblad but after that they are in very separate universes. After delving into digital lomography last week, I just had to try it on film. And a conversation with Amy at http://dogdreamzzz.smugmug.com/ was the final impetus.The fun began when I tried to start the roll of 12 exposure, 120 film onto the take-up spool while standing in the dark. Something I haven't done in over 40 years.The operators guide came with instructions on how to use gaffers tape to seal the seams against light leaks and how to use a piece of cardboard torn from the shipping box to apply tension to the supply spool to keep the film from going slack.I hope to have some results to share with you next week. In the meantime, wiki Holga to learn more if you wish. (At least two sources say wiki is an acceptable verb.)This is my pet Azalea. When I bought it 6 years ago, I pruned it somewhat like the rest of my Bonsai plants. I wanted it to have cloud-like layers of blossoms. But by the third year, it began to bloom so profusely that I haven’t had the heart to keep shaping it. Now it grows as it will and is still a huge delight, especially as the setting sun illuminates it.

Some of you may remember a few months ago when I was bemoaning the fact that I didn’t have a medium format camera. Well, today I got one. But it wasn’t the $30,000 Hasselblad that I was hoping for. Instead it was a $30 Holga 120N. It shoots 6×6 120 film just like the Hasselblad but after that they are in very separate universes.

After delving into digital lomography last week, I just had to try it on film. And a conversation with Amy at http://dogdreamzzz.smugmug.com/ was the final impetus.The fun began when I tried to start the roll of 12 exposure, 120 film onto the take-up spool while standing in the dark. Something I haven’t done in over 40 years.

The operators guide came with instructions on how to use gaffers tape to seal the seams against light leaks and how to use a piece of cardboard torn from the shipping box to apply tension to the supply spool to keep the film from going slack.

I hope to have some results to share with you next week. In the meantime, wiki Holga to learn more if you wish. (At least two sources say wiki is an acceptable verb.)