Red Rocks Amphitheater is just down the hill from my house, so I visit it quite a bit. It’s my personal Landscape photography training ground. Today the light was barely gracing the tops of the rocks and I wanted to try a couple new techniques in post. I decided to find a reasonably interesting foreground object and go for it.
A couple readers have asked for a quick “101″ lesson regarding HDR images and the tools used to create them. I am still working on more substantial content, but until it is finished, I will outline a basic example here.
Here are three images from the seven bracketed images I captured (+3,+2,+1,0,-1,-2,-3) to create the above photo. Obviously one is exposed for the rock and sky, the other is exposed for the cactus, the middle one is what the camera meter decided was a good average of the light in the scene. However, no one image has an exposure that is adequate for both foreground and background. That is where Photomatix Exposure Fusion comes in. You might be able to achieve a balanced exposure outside of software, but it would require either filters or flash, maybe both. But if you are traveling light, then this might be the way to go for you? You can read more about Photomatix here:
Processing: Caputre (7 Images) -> Import -> RAW Conversion to .tiff (applying NX2 landscape picture control) -> Photomatix (Exposure Fusion attenuated) -> NoiseWare -> Photoshop (contrast/saturation boost, sharpened) -> flickr
Tip: Even if the weather is nice, if you are planning on making some image near cactus, make sure you bring something other than your flip flops.