Thursday, September 11, 2008
Commerce Street, Greenville
As I was leaving work last Monday I noticed a heavy thunder could was moving in over Commerce Street in Downtown Greenville. I managed to shoot off six or seven sets of bracketed exposures (-2/0/+2 Stops) and then used FDR Tools to merge everything into a HDR image.
That didn't work too well. The wind was blowing really bad and I got a lot of ghosting in the clouds and bushes on the left side of the frame. In the end, I ended up tone-mapping the middle exposure in one of the brackets to expose the buildings and bushes. I used the under exposed frame and tone-mapped the sky.
After that, I created a mask around the buildings and shrubs and erased the sky from the exposure with the building and shrubs. That allowed the sky on the layer below to show through.
After that I cleaned up some dust spots and removed a traffic light that was sticking up out of the middle of the bushes. It was a really distracting element because it went right through the middle of the dark cloud.
Overall, it took about three hours to finish the post processing on the merged photograph.
(Note: HDR imaging, DRI imaging and Tone Mapping require RAW image format. You can't technically create a HDR, DRI or tone-mapped image from a JPEG or any other file type. Only RAW format keeps all of the luminosity data when the image was taken. Other file types have algorithms that determine how much of the captured data is saved in order to compress the file before saving.)