May 27, 2009

Natural Elements

Pecos Country, NM, Composite

I See You…
©Joe Bridwell

Munch, munch... he stood there - in natural element.  I'm sure he was aware of color contrasts between hide and sky.  As he was aware I stopped on high slopes above the Pecos River, just to capture him.
On recent perusal, I know this picture had potential.  Thanks to Photoshop, I present I See You...

Why the Silence?
On return from Escalante country, I found myself with numerous high dynamic range (HDR) images from classic 4 Corner’s landscapes.  Captured mostly during Magic Hour, that hour around Dawn and Dusk, said images require advanced processing.
Tone Mapping HDR images without 'over processing' is an important consideration.  Additionally, emphasis on rain streaked cliffs, times patina's, and other captivating natural aspects (arches, ruins...) requires time to properly paint and sharpen individual nuances.

What Progress?
Each of five Utah areas presented its own unique lighting situation.  In one case, the final composite image resulted from three sets of five HDR shots per orientation. 
Complex HDR pano's may become huge.  I didn’t expect to hit a RAM limit during computations...

In other cases, development is simpler; create a 32-bit HDR image, save as 16-bit tiff, do initial color balance in Lightroom, and final Tone Map touchups in CS4.

Rapid, More Accurate CS4 Workflow
After the unusual experience with RAM limit, I asked Eric Jones to suggest simpler workflow patterns.  His mastery of Photoshop, generosity, and valued time spent quickly took me to newer, simpler understandings of CS4.
Thanks, Eric!

I am completing another project, but on target to soon finish production of my Utah HDR experiences.


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