A long-exposure HDR, my first attempt at the concept. It was originally intended as a stack of 8 minute, 4 minute and 2 minute exposures. Having shot the 4 minute exposure first, I was caught in a sudden downpour of rain in the middle of the subsequent 2 minute exposure, and had to curtail the shoot. I ended up synthesising a 6 minute exposure instead, by stacking the 2 and 4 minutes together.
Running the sensor for all that time produced a huge slew of hot pixels, which were magnified by the exposure stacking, and took fully an hour to clone out - this is everything I removed from that image:
This is my first "serious" shot with the 16-35 f/2.8L II. It's a beautiful lens, very sharp, but what really attracts me about it is the almost total absense of vignette all the way out to 16mm. Not a quality I really used in this shot, but something I'm hoping to put to use more in future.
For the HDR effect I combined the multiple exposures manually, hand-painting the areas of transparency where I wanted one to overlay the other. The third synthetic exposure, I stacked on in additive mode, again painting in by hand the areas (mostly the sky) where I wanted it most prevalent. Curves work was mostly to emphasise the blues in the shadows, as seems to be my style recently, combined with emphasising gold colours in the highlights.
All editing steps: selectively combine two exposures, selectively add a blend of both again, a lot of cloning of hot pixels, sensor dust, and two power line poles, selective noise reduction for the sky, curves, dodging and burning, selective curves again for the sky, two stage selective gaussian blur for parts of the sky, resize and selective sharpen.
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An appealing image that contributes well to the challenge
Another demonstration of dedicated effort to produce a very pleasing image that pushes technique to the limits, well done Eugene. The end result is very pleasing though there is much less red on the near carriageway than I would have expected, the golds are pleasingly dominant. Unfortunately, the banding in the sky is clearly evident to the detriment of the overall result but ignoring that it remains a credit to your efforts. Have fun with that lens, I look forward to more astounding images from you and have a fun festive time.