I took a trip to Akaroa last weekend trying to get some images for this weeks diploma task, in the process I took a number of bracketed sets intended to generate HDR tone mapped images. Unless the light is very strong I generally take 5 images with one exposure between each image. I then process the -2, 0 and +2 images. I thought it might be interesting to show the starting images and result, and give a brief overview of the processing down on the images.
I took the three images into Photomatix and starting from the Photographic preset I started tweaking the settings to get the balance I wanted in there image. I wanted to bring out the detail in the wood and the stained glass windows. When I was happy I brought the image back into Aperture and looked to see how best to finish the image. There were areas where the colour was not correct, purple colouring in areas of the roof, a quick trip to Photoshop was therefore needed using a new layer and the Color blend mode to clean those areas up.
Having cleaned up the obvious issues I then decided I need more texture so I used Color Efex Pro and the Tonal Contrast filter to bring up the detail, added a little glamour glow to give a slightly more ethereal feel and then back to Photoshop where I used a layer mask to paint out the effect in some areas. Finally some sharpening was added. Quite a lot of work was done after the basic tone mapping and I was pleased with the result. I wasn’t completely happy with the lights in the image but in the end decided not to try and remove them or replace them with one of the original images.