HDR look, manually

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I used NIK tools to create this one. (not HDREfex Pro) It's just a shot I took sometime last year I decided to play with, sort of cool I thought...

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Very cool! I do some HDR type work manually by using layer masks and painting things in and out. Works well on shots with a dark foreground and a bright horizion, like sunrises. Not so well on detailed shots like this. What is your technique?
 
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Hey Pete, Phil, thanks. There's just a lot of control of colors, contrast, control points, dynamics built into the Nik software. It's really cool. I know a lot of people love NX2 for these reasons, but now I can have my Adobe, and Nik together with the plug ins.

I think I started out with a low key preset on this one if I recall correctly and from there, just moded, this, modded that. I know I put a control point or two in the sky to try and recover some blue, but there's little there to recover honestly. I ran it through several processes, in both Color Efex III and Viveza II. This was truly just an exercise, but I see a lot of power through doing it. I also used Dfine 2.0, and Sharpener Pro 2. I bought the entire suite of products. Cool stuff, lots of presets in Color Efex II

I recommend Color Efex for color photos, and Viveza II for it's control point ability, and Silver Efex II for Black and White if I was picking 3 apps to work with Lightroom or CS5.

This was fun, I refined my approach pretty well on another shot I did, I'll post it up in the landscapes area.
 
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Interesting, I'll have to check that out. I'm not a huge fan of the "HDR" look but what you posted is pretty clean.

Here is one I did the way I mentioned earlier. It's a little sloppy where I blended it by the water line but it's a good example.

There is no "HDR" here, just two properly exposed frames; one is the sky/water one is the grass. I did pump the contrast and saturation a bit but that is ALL color manipulation done here. I did the blending in the water near the shore.

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For me

both the shots posted REALLY work.

I think both are excellent and show what can be done without going into the realms of HDR.

Very nice indeed.

Best wishes

Ray
 
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Very nice Pete! Thanks Ray and Don too. :)
 
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Thanks Diane and Dallas. to think I found this on the cutting room floor too. Don't throw stuff out, never know what you might make of it, lol.
 
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