River Dream, Textured

River Dream, Textured

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.

Enjoy!

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About Kelley B.

I am a Durango, CO photographer who specializes in portraiture and wedding photography. My business is Kelley Bard Photography. You can find me around town, gardening, or on my website at www.kelleybard.com. View all posts by Kelley B.

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