I admit I haven’t worked in Photomatix for a while, and things have changed, but I do have the latest copy of the program and I wanted to see what it could do.
Saturday, over in Wisconsin for dinner and birthday fireworks (I know two people who are licensed to set these off; how weird is that?), I took bracketed photos of the old tractor. As you can see, it hasn’t been moved for a while; grass has grown up around the wheels and the daisies are happily surrounding it.
These are the photos, straight out of the camera, nothing done to them but resizing. They were bracketed at -2, 0, +2. This means three shots were taken in fast succession at those settings. A tripod is recommended, but mine is broken and I haven’t yet replaced it, so this was handheld, the camera braced on my knee. The first shot is “normal,” the one you’d get if you were shooting a single frame. The second is underexposed, the last one overexposed.
HDR means “high dynamic range,” and that means three different exposures combined into one in order to capture the widest range of darks and lights. I threw the three photos into Photomatix, played with the sliders, then saved and opened in Photoshop for more processing. I used curves to set the white and black points (necessary for balanced contrast), ran it through Topaz Adjust (spicify filter), and this is what I got:
That’s pretty good. A little on the cartoony side, but I quite like it.
Photoshop can do HDR, too, so I followed the exact same steps with the same photos, and this is what PS produced:
Which one you prefer is a matter of taste. I like them both, but I lean toward the one done entirely in Photoshop. More realistic, but I also like the slightly garish colors of the one I did in Photomatix.
Sunday afternoon, I went off on the scooter while AJ worked on Queers, and visited Raspberry Island. It was a nice sunny afternoon, and while I was leaning over the bridge on my way back to the scooter, I spotted this pigeon. He was thirsty. Ducked his head for a quick drink from the river.
I did NOT make that pigeon’s legs more red. They were that way to start with! Same with his red eye. I know people consider these birds vermin akin to rats and squirrels, but look at the pretty colors! So beautiful.
Fourth of July coming up, and I have four days off! I will be traveling once again. Looking forward to it. 🙂