Duval Ranch Red Plymouth
Canon 5D Mk II, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L, Induro C213, RRS BH-55
Lightroom, Photomatix Pro, Photoshop, and Topaz Detail
Topaz Labs recently provided Light with their plug in suite. I finally had a quick opportunity to try the newest addition to their line Detail. The image above is a five shot HDR taken at the Duval Ranch in San Luis Obispo during our recent HDR Intensive workshop.
I shot a series of six images with the Canon 5D Mk II using AEB and manual exposure compensation. I always like to use the camera's automated processes as much as possible to speed my shooting. It really helps when shooting for HDR source since the faster you can take the shots the less chance of anything moving.
As a Lightroom user, I imported the shots with my HDR Prep preset (Tone Curve - Linear / Sharpening Amount slider - 0) and then exported to Photomatix Pro with the plug in. I almost always tone map the radiance file twice. The first is always as realistic as possible and the second is as far from reality as I can get. When using the Lightroom plug in it is required to rename the first tone mapped file before sending the images again.
After both tone mapped images are back in Lightroom, I give them a quick optimization in the Develop module and then my normal workflow is to create a stack by selecting both and then Edit In>Open as Layers in Photoshop. Once loaded into Photoshop, I arrange the layers as required, modify blend modes, copy, and mask as desired to get the proper effect.
I normally run a creative sharpening or sharpening for content workflow in Photoshop but for this image I used Topaz Labs' Detail for that job. The interface was amazingly simple and I was able to perform "sharpening" and detail enhancement at small, medium, and large levels at the same time! I found this to be a huge boost in efficiency (and ya'll know I love something effective and efficient.) I'll run a quick demo video of the interface soon.
I also used Detail to desaturate a bit of the image in an effort to make the red car pop a little more. When Detail finished I added a quick vignette using a curve set to Multiply blend mode.
This was a fun first effort with Detail and I really look forward to becoming more familiar with the software. Take a peek at the plug in at http://www.topazlabs.com/.