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Lava Rock Sunrise
Lava Rock Sunrise

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Camera: Nikon D80
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM for Nikon
Location: Kihei Beach, Maui
Date: Sep 13, 2007
Galleries: Water, High Dynamic Range (HDR)
Date Uploaded: Apr 4, 2009

Viewed: 491
Comments: 9
Favorites: 4 (view)

This is an HDR image composed of three exposures. I used the technique discussed here, which is very similar to what I do anyway but I did learn a few new really useful tips!
In a nutshell, I used Photomatix to combine and tonemap the three images below. I opened the middle exposed RAW image in CS3 to use as the base layer and ran Neat Image on it to reduce noise, then brought the HDR version in as a layer on top. Next was a lot of blending between the HDR and RAW version by masking out portions of the HDR so the RAW showed through to some degree. Most of what I kept from the RAW was the smooth portions of the sky, since HDR often introduced more noise than I like in skies. After getting the blend I liked, I combined them as a new layer and ran Color Efex Pro tonal contrast filter then masked out the smooth bits of the sky (again, lots of noise can be introduced with tonal contrast and I wanted to keep the smooth sky I worked so hard to achieve. then did dodging and burning particularly in the clouds, adjusted hue and saturation, pumping up the color in some places (like pink sky) and toning down the color in some places (like the green plants). Finally I added a selective color layer to pump up the white of the clouds, and added an levels adjustment layer. It's a lot of work, but I think the results are worth it!
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04/08/2011 12:00:22 PM
You did a spectacular processing job to get this from the three that you started with. It's a place that I would like to photograph someday. Fortunate you, got to go there and see the sunrise as it was happening for this shoot. : )
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/16/2009 11:01:23 PM
The results are certainly worth it, Colleen. This is just stunning. I think you're onto something about combing a RAW and HDR and masking out what you want; I've been experimenting with it but need to try more.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
05/01/2009 11:10:04 AM
This came out really well, Colleen!!! I'm impressed with what you did to achieve the dynamic appearance of this capture! It's definitely superior!

I've been working in single image HDR and have been trying some things with this as well to see what results I can achieve. My bracketing is done in PS and I stick with the following stops -60, -40, -20, 1, +20, +40, +60. Of course this can be altered which is the great thing about working w/single image HDR. I also use Photomatix and have found that some minor editing adjustments on the original beforehand works even better!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/26/2009 02:10:27 AM
Definitely worth the effort. I've done similar with the selective layering at times. Haven't come close to this sort of wow effect though.

Message edited by author 2009-04-26 02:11:07.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/17/2009 01:25:52 PM
This a fine example of an image which looks oversharpened and overprocessed on the small screen, but I can TELL it's the limitation of this medium--I bet it looks great larger and/or in print! It looks otherworldly but in a good way. I think maybe what I'm seeing as oversharpened might be the tonal contrast shadow slider up a bit too much, but again, that's the small size thing probably.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/16/2009 08:40:03 AM
This shot is perfectly suited to HDR and you've pulled it off beautifully wintout having it LOOK like an HDR process. I really love the wide angle - definitely my kind of landscape and you have a wonderful perspective on this one. One question - when I try to overlay something HDR'd onto a copy of the RAW image in CS3, I can't get it to fit. I use Photomatix as a stand-alone, not a plug-in to CS3. Is this my problem? Or is it just me? :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/05/2009 07:48:15 PM
That is a really beautiful image, and all that work has definitely paid off. You have every part of it at its best. Well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/05/2009 12:17:41 AM
That's wonderful. A real gem! Great work all around.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/05/2009 12:05:19 AM
Holy moly, Colleen!!!! Your editing is marvelous. It is believable and not at all overdone, yet we can feel and see every nuance of the land and sky. This would be stunning on canvas in a LARGE FORMAT!!!! Love the colors.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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