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Big Plans Didn’t Take Flight

When your ideal composition is behind a high security fence, step back, try your best, and experiment a bit with some processing techniques. After a long day of mountain biking in Grand Junction I had big plans to scout out some interesting compositions at the nearby airport. I was sure the Book Cliffs were going to make the perfect backdrop for a couple small single engine airplanes. Obviously I didn’t consider the fact that regional airports have higher security protocols. I wasn’t getting anywhere near the aircraft, let alone getting on the runway. I switched to plan B….slap on a zoom, set up on a pile of rocks, and test out CS4s HDR capabilities. I don’t have any conclusive insights about CS4 other than what you see here. I still feel more comfortable driving the sliders in Photomatix.

Capture Notes:

Nikon D300
Nikkor 70-300 VR II
Gitzo Traveler
Pile of Rocks

Processing Notes:

Capture (7 Images @ 1 ev)
NX2 – Raw conversion
Photoshop – HDR (tonemppaing?? Not sure what Adobe calls it)
Adobe Camera Raw – Contrast, Saturation, Clarity adjustments
Photoshop – Cloned out a couple orange cones
Sized for web

Plan B

Plan B

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  1. Gary Mencimer says:

    Didn’t you mean CS5?
    I think they are calling it HDR Pro.

  2. Jeffery Chavez says:

    Justin, the image turned out great and the backdrop is amazing.
    I also seen how photoshop in 5 renders hdr. It’s not very surreal but that could be a good thing. And in CS5 it renders extremely fast. Their are other plugins that can tonemap or make adjustments such as nik as you demonstrate from time to time also Topaz which I like to use in my workflow. Topaz detail is the one I use and like.


  3. Bernard says:

    yes on CS4… i tried the merge to HDR.. its not as crisp as photomatix! how did you convert you raw for the CS4? i couldn’t get my CS4 read nef files…

  4. Howdy Bernard! I converted my RAWs>TIFFs prior to the merge using NX2….at least I think I remember doing it that way. I am about 95% positive that is how I handled it.

    Hope that helps!

  5. Jeffery,

    Thanks, if you are ever driving through CO, make sure to head through Grad Junction. The BookCliffs are very accessible; just off the HWY.

    I am looking forward to what CS5 has to offer. I think I will continue to use both Photomatix and Photoshop. They both have their place in the toolbox.

    Have a great weekend!

  6. Brian R says:

    Nice job making lemonade there. :)

    If you want to try again, go back during the Grand Junction Airshow. I think it’s in September this year.

Leave a comment, I would love to hear from you