Filters or Photoshop

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by stephen_hayes|1, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. I realized this might be a better forum to post this question to instead of the digital cameras forum.<br><br>I've been
    shooting SLR for about 4 years now, and have just recently gone digital. I went on a camping trip up in the Cascade
    Mountains the other day and tried to get a good shot of two of the peaks at sunrise. I had the problem of an
    overexposed sky and a correctly exposed landscape, or an underexposed landscape and a correctly exposed sky.
    Basically, my question is, would most of you who shoot digital fix this problem in photoshop? Or would you use
    some sort of filter? Thanks for all your input.
  2. gradient ND could help during the shoot.

    2 exposure one for the landscape, and one for the sky then mixed together in Ps is also a good method if your on a tripod.
  3. If you use multiple exposure to create blended HDR images, try automatic bracketing in Aperture Priority. Other
    wise you may get excessive movement from certain subjects.<p>If, like me, you find HDR images too surreal for
    landscape work, you might also consider making photographs that match the syntax/capabilities of your medium (
    see William Henry Jackson)... t
  4. Yes, multiple exposures with blending is probably the best strategy with digital, but your photo session is gone and you have only single exposures. To fix a little the problem you can try to work with Photoshop adjustment layers, blending modes and layer masks.
    Over the background layer create an adjustment layer based on levels or curves (it doesn't matter) and do not make any level or curve adjustment: just press OK button. Now, if you want to darken the highlights to bring out some details change the blending mode of this adjustment layer to "Multiply": don't worry if the image looks too dark. Look at the highlights: you can play with layer's opacity slide to decrease the effect and you can play with the "Blend if" slides (right click on the adjustment layer and choose "Blending properties") to smooth the transitions. Then create a mask to hide all but the highlights and apply it to your adjustment layer. Repeat the same procedure to restore some shadow details, but change the blending mode to "Screen".
    Since this is not a destructive technique, you can fine tune the layers parameters to get a good image look.
    Keep in mind that you are not creating any details: simply you are emphatising actual details that are hidden. You get what you were able to capture during your photographic session.
    Regards, Alberto.
  5. For me I would rather use filters than digital. In certain circumstances a filter is the only way. If anything is moving (waves, trees in the wind, people, etc.) you can't do HDR with a good result.
    If the subject is static with no movement then HDR is great, but I have had bad results with anything containing water, or plantlife in the forground, and don't even think about it if wildlife is in the picture. I bet you could get away with a portrait it you shoot at about 3fps with auto bracketing though.
  6. If you are doing a lot of these shots, I would agree that a grad filter would be handy.

    Here's an example of combining two different exposures of the same scene (requires a tripod).

    And here's an example of working from a single raw file, creating a "dark" and "light" version and combining in ps.

    There are some weird colors due to the fact it was a rather extreme range.
  7. Thanks for the input, I'll try some work on photoshop and see how it turns out. I didn't have a tripod with me so I'll try it using a single raw. In the future though I really want to mess around with HDR.

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