Before The Coffee » Photography

HDR Sunset Chesapeake Bay

The sunset is behind my right shoulder and fortunately some clouds caught some sunlight just before it dropped below the horizon. I’m shooting east – southeast.


This is fairly straight forward processing of an HDR image. I tend to like images that are not too far from reality, I like the “Keep it Real” approach to HDR.

1. Bring 5 images @ 1EV spacing into Photomatix.
2. Process those images using Details Enhancer (default settings).
3. Open the 0EV image in cameraRAW and add vibrance and a small amount of clarity.
4. Open the HDR and the 0EV image in PS. Layer them.
5. Using a soft brush begin blending the 0EV image into the HDR image. The grass on the right and left is the 0EV image and the sky is the HDR image. The grass ghosting is eliminated.
6. Notice the sand pathway is a bit brighter. I added a levels adjustment layer and blended in the brighter sand.
7. Final step was a little cleaning up, rotate horizon, crop and very minor sharpening ( I don’t like over sharpened images).

Here is a vertical taken a few minutes before.

Have a wonderful day!

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