Relax By The Lake. So, this is my first image processed following Michael Breitung’s Start2Finish tutorial (which you should totes buy).
As I had shot 9 exposures of this image, from -4EV to +4EV (don’t ask, it’s easier to shoot 9 on my Nikon D7000), I started with the -1EV frame as the base image before blending in the sky of the -4EV frame. This, for me, was probably the hardest part of the whole post-processing: trying to retain the edges of the top of those trees whilst blending in a completely different sky was… challenging.
I should point out, as well, that though Michael’s video is for Adobe products (Lightroom, Bridge and Photoshop), as a GIMP and Darktable user I managed to translate his tutorial with 95% accuracy. The main thing really is Luminance Masks, which GIMP can do courtesy of this delightful plugin.
I’ve also started downsizing my photos and then sharpening before uploading to the web. I’ve never liked how web browsers and various social networks downsample my images, so I’ve taken to downsizing them myself, before performing luminosity sharpening and exporting for the web.
Not strictly a HDR image, in terms of automatic blending of multiple exposures, and definitely no tonemapping. The final result I’m happy with as it seems sharper and cleaner than an automatic blended HDR and tonemapped image (apps like Photomatix and Luminance HDR seem to soften images slightly).
Critiques and opinions are always welcome. =)