I Learned a New and Improved HDR Processing Technique

I stumbled across a new technique recently for processing my high dynamic range (HDR) photographs. This new technique is very well detailed in Kah Wai Lin, in a tutorial he wrote for HDROne (site/magazine). And even though it’s more of a processing over processing of HDR images and the RAW HDR file itself, it’s leading me to better, more realistic-looking photographs.

Check this out. This first image I processed the easy way, 3 images (-2EV, 0EV, +2EV) imported into Lightroom, slightly adjusted in Lightroom, then externally tone-mapped in HDR Efex Pro from Nik Software.


Grand Lake 20120729 528 HDR

And then the image below is the result from following Lin’s process almost exactly. The other difference is that this image was first RAW-processed through Photomatix Pro (instead of HDR Efex Pro, like above). And instead of using Topaz Adjust like Lin’s process entails, I used Color Efex Pro and DFine 2.0 both from Nik Software. Take a look at the result.


Grand Lake 528 HDR (Lin)

Grand Lake 528 HDR (Lin)


What do you think, between these two images, which looks better to you? And why? I’ve already stated my thoughts, above. One last note here too, I’ve got to watch out for color noise artifacts more. This set of images were taken at ISO 800, and while my Nikon D90 performs quite well at high ISO, when processing HDR with any technique, the noise seems to get more pronounced in the end product. Overall, there are more details in the sky, better looking wood grain and colors, and it just looks more like what I saw shooting that night in downtown Grand Lake. Yes, it is a more tedious process to follow along, but I think in the end, Lin’s technique is well worth the extra effort (I just need to get a faster Mac with more RAM to speed up the processing/loading times in this method! Ha! Honey?)


Posted in HDR, Lightroom Tip, Nighttime, Photo Software, Photoshop Tip, Tutorials and tagged , , , , , , , , by with no comments yet.

Full Moon Over Denver

On a last minute photo whim, I was able to capture the full moon rising over the Denver city skyline tonight. Met up with Mr. CanonBlogger.com (Jason Anderson) and stood up on top of the Auraria Campus paring structure to capture this shot.


Full Moon Over Denver 0100923 069

Full Moon Over Denver (click to view larger)



Posted in Landscapes, Shoots and tagged , , , by with no comments yet.

Nighttime Photography – Montreal

On a recent vacation to Montreal to visit Katherine’s mother Sonia and her cousins, I took the opportunity to do a little nighttime photography with the excellent guide services of Sonia’s husband Georges, who has lived in Montreal since 1967. I think we must have put several hundred miles onto his car during that vacation– he was so gracious, always willing to take me around to show me his home city. It was beautiful!

First up is the view of downtown Montreal from West Mount.


Montreal - Downtown View from West Mount

Montreal - Downtown View from West Mount

Next, we have a couple images of Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount-Royal. This is a beautiful church of fairly modern architecture, nothing like the architecture of the Church of Notre Dame (see below) located in Old Town Montreal, but still beautiful and rich in history.

Montreal - Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal

Montreal - Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal

Montreal - Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal

Montreal - Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal


Finally, here are three images from the inside of the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal–stunningly beautiful!


Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal

Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal


Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal

Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal


Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal

Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal


I really love my Nikon D90 and it’s ability to correctly expose tricky situations like these photographs. My previous camera would have been lost if given these shooting conditions. This camera is awesome!

I have more photos from a previous day’s adventures up north of Montreal in search of the last Maple leaves of the season too, but for another post.

And thanks again Georges! We had a wonderful visit and I really do appreciate your patience and your guide services. Can you send me the card where you wrote down the Père’s name and email address.


Posted in Nighttime and tagged , , , , , , , , by with no comments yet.