Rosanou Abbey – Meteora (HDR)

The story of this photo

Dynamic Before-and-After: Rosanou Abbey  - Meteora (HDR) - Slide back and forth between the original exposure and the HDR version to see the effect of HDR processing on this image

Dynamic Before-and-After: Rosanou Abbey – Meteora (HDR) – Slide back and forth between the original exposure and the HDR version to see the effect of HDR processing on this image

This is an image of the world-famous Meteora site – an amazing place where six monasteries have been built on top of bizarre rock formations. In this image, you actually see three of them. UNESCO has put this place onto the World Heritage List. The term Meteora actually means “suspended in the air”, and that what this place feels like. The monasteries were built at the end of the 14th century on these rocks to protect the monks from political upheaval. If you go to this place, it feels as if you are entering another world.

On that day, the weather conditions were constantly changing. On the way to the site, it was blue skies, then rain, then blue skies again. The haze was a bit of a problem. As I shot this with a 10mm lens, using a polarizer was not possible, and reducing the hazy look in post-processing is always difficult.

How it was tonemapped

rosanou-abbey-meteora-hdr-before-and-after

Go to the before-and-after page of this image

  • 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
  • Topaz Adjust to get back the details and the colors [details]
  • Topaz Infocus (sharpening – not on the clouds)
  • Saturation layer on the sky (desaturation)
  • Levels layer on the sky (more contrast)
  • Curves layer on the rocks (more contrast)
  • Saturation layer on the rocks (yellows)
  • Levels layer on the green vegetation (more contrast and gamma)
  • Saturation layer on the green vegetation (master / yellows)
  • Levels layer on the main abbey (darkening)
  • Saturation layer on the main abbey (master, toning down the reds)
  • Global saturation and levels layer for global fine-tuning
  • Slight vignette effect [details]
  • Watermarking [details]
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9 replies
    • farbspiel
      farbspiel says:

      Hi John,

      thanks for the feedback. The world is a small place after all, isn’t it? It’s very interesting to hear that your grandpa is a native there. Yes, this place is magical.

      Cheers

      Reply
    • farbspiel
      farbspiel says:

      Hi Maureen,

      in a nutshell: You can apply any processing only to a part of the image (at least in Photoshop) by using layers and layer masking. With a mask, you can reveal only parts of a layer and cover others, and by laying several layers (versions of the image) ontop of each other and using layer masking, you can compose the final image from different parts of each images.

      I hope that helps!

      Reply

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