Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Rice Terrace Resurrection

As a sunset event, our Tegallallang rice terrace evening visit was a distinct flop. The light was dead and the clouds somewhat indifferent. What to do? I usually go for the HDR option when all else technical fails to prodiuce an exciting visual result. At least this gives you the best chance of extracting tones and detail from a scene that might otherwise have remained invisible. So I shot three frames of everything and thought I'd post some examples of what Photomatix Pro, the HDR software, can do. I was slightly less depressed once I saw with the HDR software produced - although it was still far from an 'arresting' image. Part of the problem in this shot is that the foreground 'interest', the frangapani tree, was merging into the background. I had focussed on the tree so the slightly softer background helped keep it from disappearing entirely. Nevertheless it needed separating more! I used Photoshop's Dodge brush, set to Midtones, to run repeatedly up and down the leaves and stems in the tree. This worked like a charm. I then repeated it using the Highlight setting, being careful not to blow out the lighter tones. Now I was getting somewhere. It took an hour to get the finished image you see at the bottom of this post. But I'm still not convinced that it's going on my wall.
But at least it's an improvement on the flat, uninteresting original...

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