It’s time for yet another before/after comparison + some post processing details (for more comparisons go here). This time the very beautiful Hala Gąsienicowa in Polish Tatra Mountains.
This time I took only 3 exposures at 2 EV spacing, merged them to HDR and tone-mapped in Photomatix Pro (which is Before). Then I edited my image with luminosity masks technique in Photoshop CC (After).
In the image below you can see what layers I used to create final image. Starting from bottom they are:
- Background – image produced by Photomatix Pro’s Details Enhancer – to learn how to create HDR images read my HDR tutorial.
- Fixes – various corrections, like denoising, spot removal etc. Basically any adjustments that need to be done in a destructive way. Doing this early in the workflow is essential.
- Mountains contrast – increased contrast of the mountains using Soft Light blending mode and duplicated background layer.
- Midtones contrast – increased midtones contrast using Curves adjustments layer.
- Highlights contrast – added contrast to highlights in the path and clouds.
- Shadows contrast – added some contrast to darkest parts of the image (mountains, grass) and slightly brightened them up
- Midtones contrast 2 – I increased midtones contrast using image created from all layers and using Soft Light blending mode.
- Mountain color balance – slightly modified color balance in the mountains area to make it a bit less cyan.
- Green saturation – increased saturation of greens in the mountains area.
- Vibrancy – increased vibrancy globally using Vibrance adjustments layer.
- Clarity – increased clarity of mountains and grass using this technique.
- Path clarity – increased clarity of path only using this technique.
- Sharpening – added some sharpening using high-pass sharpening technique.
- Final denoising – applied a bit of additional denoising in the sky.
Finally some EXIF and other technical specs:
Camera: Canon 5D MK III
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 24 mm
Exposure time: 1/640 s (“middle” exposure)
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2
Flash used: no
Filters: circular polarizing filter
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping, luminosity masks
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 5.0 beta (Details Enhancer), Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC