This was from a series of exposures I took overlooking this field… I took the photos while driving up to Telluride, CO in early fall last year. I just thought that it was a beautiful field, all golden, with the incredible mountains in the back. Too cool. I put the images through Photomatix early on, planning to create a classic HDR from them. There were some problems, though (waving grasses made some blurs and issues in the field, etc) and I just know more about Photomatix now than 6 months ago. I never completed the image then. So I decided to use a single image now and see if I could get the image I dreamed of. I still had to do quite a bit of photoshopping, but overall I’m happy with the photo. What needed to get photoshopped? Well, with a single image HDR (a pseudo-HDR, really) you get a lot more noise it seems. So I had to do the noiseware dance- you know, when you are trying to remove noise but not detail? I put the photo through Topaz DeNoise twice, each time masking back in some of the details that were smoothed over with the noiseware. The second time I removed more blur and saved more detail through the sliders, but still… there was some of that detail-less look that bugs me, so masking was needed. I also brought out the greens (it IS St. Patrick’s Day, after all) with a green filter (and you know you can put that on with different lighting!?). This was overlay, I believe, but it’s amazing all the options you have in Photoshop. I will spend the rest of my life exploring it, I’m sure!
I’m not sure if the grass is the best possible look, I do love that HDR-ishness to it but it’s a bit noisy and crazy, too.
Lastly, I’m not convinced that I shouldn’t crop off the right side and the bottom, to get the red mountains more over to the right. I would lose the best pines and the foreground grasses, though, both of which I like a lot!
Love opinions and thoughts on these questions, thoughts and meanders. Have a glorious St. Patricks Day, everyone.
See more of my work on my website, www.kelleybard.com, or flickr or facebook (great discussion going on with yesterdays image on facebook right now- about HDR and if it’s photography or not. Check my page (link to right) if you want to weigh in.