Tag Archives: capitol
It was a busy morning of a working week when I visited this area of Washington DC. I was killing some time before going to a conference and decided I wanted to see the stretch of land from here to the Abraham Lincoln memorial. I was therefore quite surprised to find that there were so few people in this shot when I expected it to be pretty busy.
There were a lot of people behind me, and there was one security guard who was wandering around but I timed it so he was behind the fountain. Also, while I was down on one knee and composed a couple of Chinese tourists came in and started taking photos of themselves, completely oblivious that I was there (I find it rude, but am very patient normally – this would not be the case if I was shooting film rather than digital).
After a while they disappeared, though, and I was able to go ahead and get the shot I originally intended.
For this image I corrected the lens distortion in Lightroom, merged with Photomatix Pro with selective ghost removal on the flag, and then took it into CS6 for cropping and final adjustments. I used a couple of the NIK filters, namely Pro Contrast, and also several of the OnOneSoftware filters within Perfect Effect 3, these at varying degrees of opacity and brushing.
Speaking of OnOneSoftware, they have just announced that the new Perfect Photo Suite 7 is being released, scheduled for the end of October (order now for a bonus DVD).
The Perfect Photo Suite 7 is available for $299.95 for first time customers and $149.95 for previous owners of the Perfect Photo Suite. I went ahead and ordered my update last night and am looking forward to seeing what the new updates have to offer; it’s great software which has become an integral part of my workflow this year. Use the code MURPHYZ at checkout to get 10% off your order. Order from http://www.ononesoftware.com/
I don’t think I need to spend any time explaining what this building is. Hint, it’s not St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
I decided to download HDR Efex Pro 2 from NikSoftware. I tried their first incarnation and wasn’t overly impressed, but I feel it has come on leaps and bounds since then. This is the first HDR software I’ve used where all of the presets don’t automatically kill the image, these ones do produce something usable. It seems to enable great depth within a shot, and I like a few of the features it has such as the previews of each exposure before merging. I’ve grown to love U Point technology and that is in use here also, which I really like.
I was a bit disappointed with the de-ghosting feature. I usually use Photomatix Pro and that allows very fine control over the ghosting shown in one area, and unfortunately Nik hasn’t embraced that option here…or at least not that I could find.
At the end of the day, I haven’t really used it so I can’t judge fairly – I think I will try and make use of it more and see if it’s software I wish to add to the arsenal of processing tools. First impressions, however, I’m sticking with Photomatix.
Of course, with 2 different bits of software you’re going to get different results when processing. The options are not the same, sliders are completely different as are the presets. When processing the image above I decided to use HDR Efex 2 first (software that is new to me), and then tried again with Photomatix which I’m used to using. I attempted to get the feel of the image right as best I could, knowing that tonemapping is only part of the process and a lot more work can be done in Photoshop.
Here’s my initial files out of HDR Efex Pro 2:
First up, it seemed okay to me when I was working on it, but looking at it afterwards I found though the depth in the image was good it was a little too dark in places and details had been lost. There was quite a pronounced halo around the main focal point, and the clouds on the right had a noticeable white streak that looks a little unnatural. I’m thinking that part was more down to the day I shot the image however, but it came to my attention all the same. Finally, in the original brackets there were 3 people stood on the left hand side in the dark exposure, and the normal and light exposures had them gone, but a woman was walking into the scene on the right. I still see parts of that woman in this image.
Here’s the Photomatix output:
A much lighter image that retains more detail in it, though admittedly there is a little less depth. I usually add depth in the Photoshop stage (coincidentally enough, using Color Efex Pro by NikSoftware) so am not worried about this. There is a slight halo around the subject, but it’s certainly less than on the other output and a little easier to clean up because of it.
The got rid of the people in the image using selective ghosting, and though the woman in the right of the image is removed, it does leave a noticeable pattern on the floor which I would need to clean up.
Here’s a few close up sections.
First image is from HDR Efex Pro 2, a lot more depth has been added in comparison to the Photomatix version below it, but with that we’ve lost a lot of detail in the doorway.
This first one is HDR Efex Pro 2. Quite a large halo is to be found on this one and I’ve lost detail in the dark areas.
This shot is from Photomatix. Reduced halo, more detail, but with that there is also a lot more noise which will need to be cleaned up later:
HDR Efex Pro 2 is pretty powerful, has some great features and I would be silly not to spend more time with it. Photomatix is the go-to software for me at the moment though, and is in a place where I am comfortable with it, so making a move to another – even partially – will not be an easy thing for me to go ahead with.
In the end, I used the Photomatix version and then masked in a few details from the HDR Efex version
If you don’t use either of them I encourage you to download the free trial versions and give them both a go to see which one you like.
Happy Monday everyone, hope you all had a nice weekend.
I’ve now copied 1TB of photos to my new drive, the addition of which has allowed me to start importing images from my US trip properly – hurrah. In the meantime I’m picking out a few images here and there to put up, as you can see by last week and indeed the shot today.
As I’m sure you’re able to tell, this shot of
St Paul’s the Capitol was taken in DC and was on a day where I had a bit of time to walk around. This area was pretty busy with both tourists and security, but I feel I should have managed to shoot a few decent images there.
To me, this building was a little like St Paul’s Cathedral in London. A nice domed roof, and you can see it popping up between buildings from many spots within the city as you walk around. I liked it for that.
As I was walking from my hotel to a meeting I noticed this road which had a nice view to it, and decided I had to revisit it with the camera, and a comfy pair of shoes, later in the week – and so I did.
After the move I still need to set my PC up properly, which involves having to buy a desk and more storage. At present I have 2GB of storage left on my hard drive, and 50GB of photos to import, so I’m picking one two shots here and there for processing. I may have to go for a Drobo drive at this rate…