The Badlands (B&W HDR)

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (15)

Ryan Calhoun on February 26, 2008

Wonderful effect, Jessica! So nice to see this amazing landscape rendered with such drama. The deep blacks really bring out the natural ruggedness. Beautiful!

Jessica G. on February 26, 2008

I'm glad you like the effect! This was another experiment, this one with highton-ridley's tutorial video from the Photography forum. It isn't a "real" HDR in the sense that it was made using one RAW image (my first time working with that too) and three exposures created from that. The tonemapping messed up the sky badly, so I ended up going back and smudging it to hide the pixellated effect. But mainly I was trying to show the contrast between the snow and the ground with more drama.

Ryan Calhoun on February 26, 2008

How do you mean, "pixelated"? Similar to the grain from a high ISO? What you could do is make a duplicate layer and blur the whole thing. Then assign a transparent layer mask and paint in just the problem parts to covered them up with the blurred version. It's the same idea you were going for, but the smudge tool is rather inaccurate, like trying to cut a paper snowflake with a tree trimmer :D. Plus with layer masks, it's easier to fiddle and undo mistakes, since you aren't actually ever changing the image itself.

Ryan Calhoun on February 26, 2008

(Not that you did a bad job here, this one turned out great. But over a larger area, or a more intricate area, I'm just making a suggestion for the future. :))

Jessica G. on February 26, 2008

Thanks for the tip, I'm a real novice at Photoshop and I can use all the help I get!! :)

walkaboutwest on February 27, 2008

Nice effect with the HDR, Phoenix. And it sounds like good advice from Ryan. I'll have to try it!

laughingmackerel on March 5, 2008

real nice mono effects of texture ..

all the best laughingmackerel

Jessica G. on March 5, 2008

Thank you Eve and laughingmackerel - glad you like my experiment!

Mark Highton Ridley on March 6, 2008

...and didn't it turn out well, Phoenix. The sky can be a problem when there's not much in the way of tonal range for the HDR / tone-mapping to work on.

It was fine for my photo essya as that's what I was after but to get a good range of tones in the sky, I think you'll usually need more than one click of the shutter release :)

More please :)

Jessica G. on March 6, 2008

Thank you (Mark?) for your tutorial and for having a look at my first try! :) It's much easier working with RAW's for HDR (saves trying to align them!) but I agree, the results would be better with three different exposures.

Of course I'll keep trying! :)

Mark Highton Ridley on March 8, 2008

...No worries, Phoenix - all my HDRs here so far are 3 (or more) from 1 RAW.

(Yes, it is Mark :) )

Greetings from the UK!

Matthew Walters on March 8, 2008

Very nice mono conversion, Jessica. Good use of HDR too. Now you've started with RAW, you'll find it hard to go back to jpeg.

Jessica G. on March 8, 2008

I do like working with RAW's, but the problem is the huge file size. I've taken so many pictures over the last two years, that even with all the cleaning out I've done my computer is down to its last 1.65 GB of memory! So I don't want to risk filling the rest up with RAW files until we can get an external hard drive and clear up some space!

Mark Highton Ridley on March 8, 2008

...yes, Phoenix, I know what you mean - I had to buy a Buffalo Terastation (750GB usable storage) and when I upgraded my laptop, I got a 250 GB hard drive...!!

Mark Highton Ridley on March 2, 2009

Fantastic tones, composition and great application of HDR.

I know what you mean about the "pixelated" noisy skies you get. That's caused by the HDR s/w trying to pull out and maximise the contrast in the sky when there's too little detail there in the original RAW.

I think the only way around this is to take at least two RAWS, one exposed purely for the sky.

I'm real glad you found my tutorial helpful. You certainly put what you learned to good use in this shot!

Cheers, Mark

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on February 25, 2008
  • Attribution-Noncommercial
    by Jessica G.