What I Have Learned
Pixley Falls State Park
Two weeks ago I did a “What I Have Learned” post and I really enjoyed the process. I went back to 2012 again and found another of my early favorites. This image from Pixley Falls State Park is another example of how I had over worked images via the HDR process. I realize now I did not have an understanding of the importance of lights and shadows. It didn’t hurt that some of the photographers I was following used HDR to their benefit in creating the images I admired.
This is an extreme example, now that I look at it with a more critical eye. I captured a three exposure bracket but went to the very extremes +/-2 stops when in reality the original exposure had everything I needed.You can see in this image that there are very few shadows and highlights. The whole image is practically the same tone.
For the new version of this image I processed the 1 second exposure in Lightroom. I re-cropped the image slightly to bring a little more of the scene into the top. I wanted to keep the highlights in the water as well as the shadows under the rocks. This also allowed the differences in the tone of the leaves to stand out. My original HDR processing as well as the plugins I’m sure I used dulled the image slightly. I wanted to keep as much definition and sharpness as I could.
After completing my Lightroom process I did add a few more adjustments with Luminar 4. I didn’t go crazy though. Slight pop to the color, a little more texture in the shadows and mid-tones, and I avoided dulling the highlights in the water. This new version is brighter, more colorful and a truer representation of the scene. I really like/liked my original but I this reworked version has me enjoying this view even more… let me know what you think.