Blinded by the light
You know how sometimes when you are out shooting you get home and say to yourself, “I literally do not like any of shots”? Some may be ok, but most are just like “Eh”. But then there are the times (at least for me being a primarily HDR photographer) that it’s almost like I want to hurry up and get home and cut the photowalk short because I just want to start processing my images, I am that excited about that. My little walk on Mt. Washington a few weeks ago was like that, and this shot in particular.
So my last post featured a candid I took as I was wrapping up the early part of my walk, before dinner and this one wraps up the end of the night. I have been on Mt. Washington countless times since I got my camera and never once noticed this glowing red cross on the church on Grandview. I’m not sure if it’s because I never really am down this far on Grandview or if I just never looked at it, but when I was walking back to my car, I knew I had to get a shot of it. Luckily there was still a fair amount of traffic coming through, so I was able to get a nice light trail going through the frame as well. One of my favorite parts of the shot is the reflection of the light trails along the railing on the right. I didn’t even notice it at first when I was looking at the shots on the LCD, but as soon as the HDR popped up I noticed them. I’ve included the selective color version below and am open to suggestions and opinions as to which one you like better.
This a 5 exposure (-1 to +3) HDR processed with Photomatix with all additional edits done in Photoshop CS5. The first thing I had to do was tonemap the +3 exposure to help lighten the church and then do a light mask on it (25%), as the HDR process made it a little too dark for my liking. I also used the +2 exposure to mask in some of the light trails, mainly on the left had side of the frame, to give them a more continuous look. The bright yellow sign was blown out from the +3 exposure, so I used the -1 exposure to recover some of the lost details there. Next, I added a Pro Contrast filter in Color Efex and a blue curves layer to make the sky a little more vibrant.
To get the selective color, I did a SelectàColor Range and picked all the reds, oranges and yellow, minus the sign in the foreground. I then used Silver Efex to convert to do the black and white conversion.
That about wraps it up today. See you again tomorrow.