HDR Concert #2: A Fading Fortune


HDR Concert#2 had a great turn out with several styles all coming together for one harmonious reason, HDR photography.  This Concert was slightly different than the last as there was a twist.  Once the image was tone mapped everyone had to use one of two options as an addition to the image.  Many went the texture route, while others chose to use elements of the Options in the composition of the final image.  Without further ado, the Concert submissions!

In the order they were received:

Tim Pursall

Location: Bristol, United Kingdom

I am a 48 year old amateur photographer who leans heavily towards the HDR field. I love the process of capturing the brackets then processing them to finish with an image that is worth looking at! Looking to up my game a little now that my Canon 40D has been replaced with a brand new 5D MKIII.

Processing Highlights:

  • Brackets processed with more or less default settings in Photomatix Pro
  • Into Photoshop where Silver Efex Pro 2 utilised
  • Setting adjusted to suit in SEP
  • Curves layer added to improve contrast
  • Edge vignette added
  • Masked texture layer added to the sky
  • Sharpening applied

Where you can find Tim: Website, Google +, 500px, Redbubble

Jason Lee

Location: Charleston, South Carolina (USA)

I’m a 31 year stay at home dad with 7 month old twins (boy and girl).  My professional background is in marketing for which I have a degree from the University of Florida where I grew up.  I’m an amateur photographer and routinely shoot wedding parties for family and family.

Processing Highlights:

  • Imported files into Lightroom
  • Made small exposure adjusments before exporting to Photomatix
  • Basic adjustments in Photomatix, no lighting mode
  • Back into Lightroom for local and global adjustments for sharpness, NR, clarity, brightness, vibrance, saturation etc…
  • Tweaked the overlay in LR.. made saturation and color adjustments using the gradient tool
  • Exported to Gimp (my computer won’t run PS), overplayed the texture and made opacity, level, and saturation adjustments
  • Very mild unsharp mask before final export.

Gregg Cooper

Location: Buena Park, California, USA

I have been a hobbyist-photographer since I was very young, starting out on a Brownie and a 110 Instamatic cameras. Over the years, I have integrated photography with my other hobbies and my children’s sports activities. A couple of years ago, I discovered HDR and combined that with a love of Disney, specializing in Disneyland scenery.

Processing Highlights:

  • Adjusted source files in ACR for color and clarity
  • Processed with Photomatix TWICE , creating and blending a tone mapped version with a fusion version
  • In CS5, merged several of the source files into the image to control light and exposure issues
  • Various filters from Nik Color Efex and Topaz adjust 4 & 5 used to create color and tone adjustments
  • Sepia conversion accomplished with Nik Silver Efex
  • Sharpening, contrast and noise accomplished in different layers, masking in as needed

Where you can find Gregg: Flickr

Nick Marzinski

Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

I’m an amateur (read: non-professional) photographer in the Milwaukee area that enjoys macro, landscapes, abstract, and HDR photography.  I started playing with digital photography 7 years ago when my oldest daughter was born (my wife wanted a child, I wanted a Canon Powershot G6).  Now, that daughter’s in first grade (and another is in kindergarten), and I’ve upgraded to a DSLR and Photoshop and Photomatix.

Processing Highlights:

Tone mapping was done in Photomatix, with some noise removal afterwards in Lightroom.  At that point, I noticed some red tints in the clouds, and decided to accentuate that.  Moved into CS5, cloned out a rock pile on the lower right corner and a few areas in the clouds that were blown out.  Did a curve adjustment layer on the tree to darken it up (my intent was to basically silhouette it), another on the clouds to bring out some contrast with a slight boost on the red and blue curves to bring out the color.  Slightly desaturated the ground with a hue/saturation layer.  Then the texture: I chose the skidmarked texture because it looks awesome.  I stretched it until I found a section that looked good on the image and used multiply blend mode, vignetted it slightly so it’s not as prominent in the middle.  Finished up in Photoshop with a high pass sharpen on the tree and ground.  Then took it back to Lightroom for another noise cleanup and a slight edge vignette.  Oh, and then looked at it again 24 hours after editing to make sure I was still happy with it.

Where you can find Nick: Google+

Chris Ombelet

Location On The Globe: Heerlen (Netherlands)

I’m  just a guy with a camera who loves to take pictures. But sadly I find just too little time  for my hobby. My love is (after searching for 2 years) with Landscape, Night and most off all HDR photography. Mainly  due lack of time to shoot, I found my love with Photoshop (on a strict beginner level that is).

Post Processing Highlights:

  • First I prepared the brackets in Lightroom (denoise etc) and tone mapped them with Photomatix.
  • I took the normal Exposure Bracket, and made a -2 ev and +2 ev out of it in Lightroom.
  • Tone mapped them in Photomatix with the same settings as used before.
  • I masked only the top of the tree and some grass in de overall Tone mapped one, to deghost the moving branches and grass.
  • Then I matched it all together by color correcting, and worked on the final image in Photoshop.
  •  The two other pictures I used to let it seem a old painting found behind/In a demolished wall, and finished it off with some grain and a little vignette.

Software used: Lightroom 4, CS5, Photomatix, Topaz Adjust

Where you can find Chris:Google+, Facebook

Terry Olsen

Location On The Globe: Fort Smith, Arkansas, USA

I am employed as a biomedical technician but my passion has been photography ever since I first picked up a 35mm SLR in 1990. In 2007, I switched to digital photography. Since then I have discovered that I enjoy post-processing almost as much as the actual photography. Lately, my processing interests are in HDR, black and white and textured images. My tools are: Lightroom 3, Photoshop CS5, Nik Software plugins, and a few Topaz plugins. My HDR program of choice is Photomatix Pro even though I occasionally use Nik HDR Efex Pro.

Post Processing Highlights:

  • Most of my HDR images are a combination of three different tone-mapped images. I found this technique at the blog of Ron Hanson.
  • The first HDR image is one where all the sliders are at the default.
  • The second image is called Vivid and the strength, saturation, luminosity and micro-contrast are at or near max.
  • The third image is called Shadowmap and it is another default image except the saturation is at minimum and black point and white point are at max, creating a high contrast black and white image.
  • I take these three images into Photoshop and combine the shadowmap and vivid image (in layers) using the Hard Light blend mode and the opacity at 62% for this image.
  • I then add the default image to this using normal mode at 31%.
  • The next step is to use Nik Silver Efex Pro and convert the image to a high structure black and white image. This layer will be blended using the Luminosity blend mode at 74%.
  • Then I will selectively remove noise from the sky using Nik Define.
  • I then use Nik Color Efex Pro 4 using the following filters:
  • Brilliance/Warmth
  • Bleach Bypass (72% opacity)
  • I then blend this layer with the previous at 52%.
  • At this point I added the texture using Overlay blend mode at 92%.
  • I used a layer mask with a low opacity brush to mask the texture from the ground and the tree.
  • Finally, I went back to Nik CEP and added a Glamour Glow filter and slight vignette.


This looks like a lot but it’s really not that bad and, of course, this changes with each image.

Where you can find Terry: Gallery, Flickr

Mark Seton

Location On The Globe: Great Dunmow, Essex, England

4 years ago my wife bought me a Nikon D60 for my 40th birthday. Two years later I got it out of the box, and 2 years after that it never gets put down. I’m very much a learner, particularly with photoshop, usually using Lightroom for my edits. I love HDR! My wife doesn’t!!

Post Processing Highlights:

  • Starting in Photomatix I have my own default starting place.
  • From here I boosted the saturation to try and get a bit more colour in the scene.
  • Opening my beta copy of Photoshop CS6 (which is great) I first of all tidied up a few distracting wisps of grass and branches.
  • I then used 3 curves layers, 1 on the picture overall, one on the sky and one on the tree.
  • I then added a brightness/contrast layer and boosted the contrast of the sky.
  • Then a hue saturation layer was added to introduce that bit of red sky at night.
  • And another hue saturation level added to the grass to boost the colour.
  •  Finally the texture was added with a blend mode of Pin Light and an opacity of 11%

Where you can find Mark: Flitch Photography, 365 Project

Ted Ward

Location On The Globe: Wales, UK

A British photographer who took up HDR photograhy in December 2011. An Architectural Technology Student who has thrown himself into the craft, feet first.

Post Processing Highlights:

  • Processed in Photomatix
  • Masked the tree, rope, grass and most of foreground to remove ghosting.
  • Use Nik color Efex Pro 4 to add a blue and dark feel to the image.
  • Added more dark colours to the clouds.
  • Added a vignette to whole image centered around the tree
  • removed vignette from the foreground
  • Touched up some colours in the tree and in the foreground. Then added border.

Where you can find Ted: Google +

William Woodward

Location On The Globe: Near Chicago, IL

Full time mechanical engineer, photographer, rugby player. Travel, exploration, and adventure all with a camera to bring back the memories.

Post Processing Highlights:

  • Tone mapped in Photomatix
  • Stacked to layers in PS with originals (-1,0,+2)
  • Layers adjustment and blending
  • Added contrast, reduce noise in sky, sharpen tree and ground
  •  Imported texture as layer, blending mode to Overlay
  • Increased warmth of texture layer
  • Adjusted hue to more yellow
  • Decreased opacity, mask out center for vignette feel.

Where you can find William: Where To Willie, Google +, Pinterest, Flickr


Blake Rudis, host of EverydayHDR

Location On The Globe: North Kansas City, Missouri, USA

I was pleasantly surprised by this Concert, there was quite the mix of styles happening here.  I always process my image first before receiving any submissions as not to be swayed in one direction or another by the other as they come in.  I find it only fair to everyone.  It was interesting to see how well this one blended with Gregg, Tim, and Chris’ submission.  I had a good time with this Concert as I love textures and any excuse to compile several images into one composition.

Post Processing Highlights:

  • Started with a mild HDR tone map in Photomatix.
  • I brought Option 1 into CS 5, duplicated it, and masked out the tan areas.
  • I then clipped the tone mapped image into the remaining areas of Option 1.
  • I then boosted several areas for heightened contrast with various layers and curves.
  • The  I put a gradient map over the entire image to get a high contrast black and white image.
  • I added a Sepia Tone layer, then made a stamp of all of the layers and applied a couple of effects with Topaz Adjust 5.
  • I finished it off with a cooling filter to tone down the vivid looking sepia tone that resulted from the Topaz effects and added a final Gradient Map set to Luminosity with an Opacity of 72%.
You obviously found me here! However, I am also on Google +

Thank you everyone for your submissions and taking the time to unify the globe through another harmonious HDR Concert.  This kind of thing doesn’t happen without all of you.  Give yourself a round of applause!

Be sure to checkout the first HDR Concert, and stay tuned on the last Wednesday of every month for future concerts.  I will announce the concert the week prior on Google + and here on EverydayHDR!