Download the source exposures of this HDR image and test your processing skills.
The story of this photo
This image was shot from a cruise ship in the harbor of Izmir, Turkey. On this day, the weather conditions were changing so quickly that we had blue sky in one minute and pouring rain the next. Fortunately, when we arrived, the weather was basically fine, and we had a few clouds. This made this shot more interesting.
I know that the purists and those that like more natural HDR images may be turned off by the colors of the water. I am not going to pretend that this was actually the color of the water when I was there. But that is actually what Topaz Adjust gave me when I played with the adjustments. I went on processing the image, pushing it a bit into that ‘green’ direction. Then I thought that this may turn off many people, and I started thinking about changing it to something the was closer to the original (dull) color. Now, if you are serious with your art, that should be the point where you say: ‘Wait a minute! I’m about to produce something just because more people may like it???’ I decided against the change and went with the version I liked most.
What can you take away from this little story? Don’t let the taste of other people influence you too much. Do what you like and what you are passionate about. That’s the best way to find your audience and to stay authentic.
How it was shot
- Taken hand-held
- Six exposures (-3, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2 ev) – semi-autobracketing [details]
- Camera: Nikon D7000
- Lens: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
How it was tonemapped
- CA reduction and white balance correction on all source exposures in Adobe Camera Raw
- Saved the 6 images as TIFFs
- Applied noise reduction (Topaz Denoise) to each of the source images [details]
- Resulting TIFF images were then used as input to Photomatix (Details Enhancer option)
How it was post-processed
- Post-processing was done in Photoshop
- Retoucing to remove dust spots
- Topaz Adjust to get back the details and the colors [details]
- Topaz Infocus (sharpening)
- Curves layer on the water (more contrast for a more reflective look)
- Saturation layer on the water (master)
- Saturation layer on the blue parts in the sky (master)
- Saturation layer on the clouds (desaturation)
- Levels layer on the clouds (fine-tune contrast)
- Levels layer on the buildings (more contrast and brightness)
- Levels layer on the mountains in the back (darkening)
- Saturation layer on the mountains (slight desaturation)
- Global saturation and levels layer for global fine-tuning
- Slight vignette effect [details]
- Watermarking [details]