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Solution: Preserving original color and applying contrast

From: Up and Running with Photomatix Pro

Video: Solution: Preserving original color and applying contrast

Okay, let me show you how I did it. These particular images were taken on a tripod. And because it's a high contrast photo, I reduce chromatic aberrations.

Solution: Preserving original color and applying contrast

Okay, let me show you how I did it. How did we take three images from an HDR series shot in the desert and create something that was compelling, with vivid tones, but not over the top HDR? Let's take these three images into Photomatix Pro and we'll merge them. These particular images were taken on a tripod. But I will check for ghosts. This is partially because we have clouds, as well as some movement on the road. I definitely want to reduce the noise in the images.

And because it's a high contrast photo, I reduce chromatic aberrations. Let's do some selective deghosting here for a second. And zoom in. All right. So the shots here, if you look very closely, you could see that we have a little bit of a trail on the edge of the car. So let's choose that and preview the deghosting. And the car snaps in nice and clean. That worked out well, and of course, later with post-processing, I probably actually remove this other photographer in my shot, these distracting blue boxes, and probably the car altogether.

But we're just going to focus on the photomatic side here. And while we're in here, let's check to see if the clouds create any problems Nope, everything looks pretty good. So I could simply click return to move onto the next step. I merged the photos and then I'm going to play with some of the tone mapping settings. Because it's a high contrast photo, reducing chromatic aberrations will help clean up the edges of the rock edge as it meets the sky. Let's take a look at tone mapping here. And we'll start with some of our presets.

These are extremely vivid here and I want to be careful to not make it look too painterly. Now these rocks were very intense so there is quite a bit of texture there. But I think that we're getting into the right ballpark here. Let's come with a softer look. And experiment with some smooth as well. I like the lighting effects but I think I'm going to keep that relatively simpler. So we'll pull the lighting adjustments down and let's play with the overall strength. There we go. Back off the saturation a bit.

And I like that. Play with the black point so the blacks become really crisp and those shadows look like dark shadows again. That's really helping restore the photo realism to that rock. going to lower the gamma a bit so the image is a bit darker. Because I want this rock to be a bit shadowed while the background here's properly exposed. And let's roll the colour temperature a little bit to change the colour and mood so the sky's a bit bluer. That feels pretty good. I'm going to smooth out the highlights a bit. We'll bring out some of the saturation there, you'll note how the mountain is coming through.

I like bringing out the saturation in the highlight region so the background starts to pop. And then the shadows, I'm going to pull some of that saturation out so they're not so intense. And let's smooth that a bit. All right. That looks pretty good. Note: you can clip the shadows if you want them to become darker. That feels pretty good. And let's just apply a little more smoothing. Look at the edge there, in particular, as you play with smoothing. If you go too far, you start to get some weird artifacts. So balance that out so you get a little bit of smoothing, but no additional artifacts.

Alright, that looks good. I will click Apply to generate the tone-mapped image, and let's finalize this out. I'll bring up some of the saturation in the reds a little bit, as well as the oranges. And you see that's adding a little bit of pop there Little too far, so we'll back the orange off. Bring up the red. Let's pull the yellows down a bit. And bring up the blues and the aquas for the sky. That looks good. I'm going to pull down any magentas and greens. Thing is I don't want it to feel too lush, and I'd like that a bit more subdued.

Under contrast, let's experiment with medium contrast. It's a bit too much. I like what's happening in the highlights, but the shadows are too intense. So we'll back that down a bit. Right about there. Let's lift the highlights a little. Feels good. And Sharpen with a medium amount. Alright, I'll click Done. And store the file, and that's how I processed that image.

Now it's up to you how you did yours, but I just wanted to really get the feel of the desert. Nice rich earth tones, really rich intense blacks, but not to push it too far so the HDR was adding to the image but not being the effect.

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This video is part of

Image for Up and Running with Photomatix Pro
Up and Running with Photomatix Pro

50 video lessons · 2599 viewers

Richard Harrington
Author

 
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  1. 2m 48s
    1. Welcome
      1m 40s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 8s
  2. 15m 12s
    1. Loading from a folder
      1m 41s
    2. Loading from Lightroom
      4m 19s
    3. Loading from Aperture
      1m 45s
    4. When to load raw files
      3m 2s
    5. When to load preprocessed files
      4m 25s
  3. 38m 3s
    1. Aligning source images
      4m 5s
    2. Removing ghost images with automatic deghosting
      4m 21s
    3. Removing ghost images with selective deghosting
      6m 40s
    4. Reducing noise
      2m 36s
    5. Reducing chromatic aberration
      6m 16s
    6. Choosing the color primaries and white balance
      2m 57s
    7. Working with single files
      2m 53s
    8. Working with single raw files
      8m 15s
  4. 27m 40s
    1. Working in Unified or Floating mode
      3m 26s
    2. When to use Tone Mapping
      3m 15s
    3. When to use Exposure Fusion
      2m 48s
    4. Adjusting the preview window
      2m 35s
    5. Working with presets
      4m 52s
    6. Add finishing touches
      4m 48s
    7. Saving the image
      3m 45s
    8. Redoing the image with other settings
      2m 11s
  5. 20m 2s
    1. The Details Enhancer workflow
      6m 21s
    2. The Contrast Optimizer workflow
      3m 50s
    3. The Tone Compressor workflow
      3m 53s
    4. The black-and-white workflow
      5m 58s
  6. 27m 3s
    1. The Fusion/Natural workflow
      4m 32s
    2. Exploring the Fusion/Real Estate workflow using photos taken outside
      7m 2s
    3. Working with Fusion/Real Estate workflow using photos taken inside
      2m 54s
    4. The Fusion/Intensive workflow
      2m 54s
    5. Fusing multiple images
      4m 5s
    6. Fusing a single image
      2m 22s
    7. Comparing methods
      3m 14s
  7. 40m 31s
    1. Removing color casts
      5m 15s
    2. Removing tough ghosts
      2m 54s
    3. Replacing a selection with a source
      6m 29s
    4. Refining performance with preferences
      6m 5s
    5. Automating with batch processing
      11m 8s
    6. Photomatix Pro and color management
      3m 12s
    7. Post-process in Photoshop
      5m 28s
  8. 40m 2s
    1. Challenge: Preserving original color and applying contrast
      2m 26s
    2. Solution: Preserving original color and applying contrast
      5m 20s
    3. Challenge: Creating a feeling within an image
      2m 10s
    4. Solution: Creating a feeling within an image
      9m 58s
    5. Challenge: Creating the look of a digital painting
      2m 18s
    6. Solution: Creating the look of a digital painting
      5m 53s
    7. Challenge: Help a subject stand out from the background
      2m 3s
    8. Solution: Help a subject stand out from the background
      9m 54s
  9. 1m 4s
    1. Final thoughts
      1m 4s

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