I am totally, totally jazzed about this photo! I think it is mostly because I had no idea, when I started processing this, how it would turn out. I think I learned a valuable lesson in one way to make green, growing things stand out in Photomatix HDR processing. I tweaked one slider and- voila!
Of course, it is never quite that easy, right? But close. I found this site early in the morning, somewhere between Carbondale, CO and Delta, CO. That is a big stretch. It was pretty close to Carbondale and I came across this stretch of river right by the road. It stopped me in my tracks. I had to, HAD TO, stop. I grabbed the tripod and wandered into the mud and wetness, trying to get some idea of what was available. I looked and looked for the right shot and finally saw this arrangement. Taking 3 exposures quickly, I headed back to the car and on my way. Never in a million years did I think those images would turn out to be quite this photo…
Yesterday I started post-processing the image. I put the photos into Photomatix and really liked the result, but had several problems- bland sky, lots of color distortions (on the rocks, trees, blech! lots of work), the river didn’t look right in the HDR, etc. I took the .tif into Photoshop and started to clean it up. I did it a bit backwards today, I textured early because I knew it needed it for the sky, and then I just kept adding in layers and work underneath the textures. Thank god for Photoshop. I also kept closing it and coming back… thank god again. I needed the frequent breaks so that I didn’t do anything silly. Topaz Adjust did some slight color and detail tweaks, Noiseware Professional did some noise cleanup (nothing for the color distortions, though. Lightroom did better with that, actually). I did A LOT of masking and finally got everything dealt with. I think.
I really, really like this image. It was one of those fun edits, where my heart was pounding and I kept noticing a goofy grin on my face. I would have you know that I would have never bought this image 2, 3, 4 or more years ago. I would have thought it was cheesy. Of course, that would have been a painting. One of those “light” paintings. I don’t know why that would rub me so wrong… but it would have. But in HDR, I love images like this. Not all the time, mind you. Just when the photo calls for it. And, once the processing started, this photo was screaming for this treatment! I hope I made the image happy!
I have posted this on my website at www.kelleybard.com, and also on my flickr page. I got 14 hits in the first minute on flickr, a new record for me, I think. I will keep an eye on this and see what happens! Hopefully it will be posted to HDRspotting.com soon as well.