Preacher at Calico Ghost Town
(walking out of the saloon!)
Last week in Tech Talk Tuesday, (click HERE), I did a review of HDR programs and I hope what you got out of that post is that with the programs now available, anyone can produce interesting, fun and/or realistic photos and art with very little time and a short learning curve. This week I thought I'd show you one of the ways I often use HDR.
We just got back from another quick trip to California, (my last few images were pre posted before I left), and we stopped at Calico Ghost Town, (a tourist trap), on the way. We were sitting on a bench and this character walked out of the 'saloon', and turned around to talk to us. My camera was in my hands, (of course), and set to bracket 3 shots at different exposures, and my 2 second timer was on. I had no time to fiddle with any other type of settings. In about 2 seconds I asked him if I could snap his picture. He said yes, and with one click of the shutter button I had my three images. (I braced my arm as best as I could to avoid movement, because I didn't have my tripod with me and I was sitting down.)
The above photo is what I ended up with after about 5 minutes on the computer. Here's what I did: I exported the three images into EFex HDR Pro (which I still have in 'trial' form). It is so fun seeing what all the presets do that I quickly tried different effects on the image. I came across one that I think was called "Granny's Attic" which gave this old west look to it. I knew I wanted this type of look and I usually use a Photoshop action to produce something similar, but this preset did almost the same thing. I then fiddled with some of the sliders to add clarity and a bit more definition to make his weathered face stand out, and that was it. Then I imported the image into Photoshop and used an action to sharpen his eyes. The last (and trickiest) thing I did was remove his name tag. That all took about 5 minutes, and I like the end result. To me it is much more fun and interesting than any of the originals. Below are my three SOOTC shots. What do you think?