Sunday, August 1, 2010


In the previous post, I noted upgrading to Photoshop CS5 and have been tinkering with some of the new tools.  Not even counting the 7D picture styles, the near infinite number of variations in post processing are reason enough to have the final result "pre-visualized" (as Ansel Adams supposedly said) before pushing the shutter button and certainly before beginning to post process.  I'm not so good at following this advice.  Here are a few variations on an image.

When I saw the scene above, I immediately thought about making a High Dynamic Range (HDR) image.  I set my 7D to ISO 400, Av mode, f8 and high speed bracketing with +/- 3 stops exposure.  Above is the in-camera JPEG ("Faithful" picture style), the first of those exposures, taken at 1/250 second.  If I'd taken only one shot and used the in-camera JPEG, this would have been the result.

Using Adobe Camera Raw to convert the RAW file and Photoshop to post process to my taste (of that day and time), I came up with the picture above.  It's OK but not what I hoped to get.

This one (above) was made from those 3 bracketed shots using CS5's new HDR processing.  I was not too pleased with it (lots to learn) but thought "What about a B/W version?".  A more more steps and clicks yielded the variation below.

A bit overdone, I'd say, but sort of interesting.  Next, I tried the Photomatix HDR software on the same files.  In Photomatix, I usually prefer the "Compressor" variations, one of which is below.

Sometimes I prefer the "Enhanced" variation from Photomatix and usually generate both variations while I'm at it.  This one (below) didn't work out (default settings).

Finally, I thought about making a B/W using only the first RAW file so I started all over again and came up with the variation below.  This is the only variation that I printed.

What does all this mean?  For starters, I still have difficulty in selecting scenes suitable for HDR images.  I also prefer converting from RAW to get the "best" image.  Fortunately, digital post processing allows me to change my mind (OK, several times!).

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