Wallflower reworked as Split RAW


Link Posted 15/03/2019 - 01:48
(The original competition entry image is here). Taking camera: Pentax K-X, saved as DNG.

I'm close to developing a habit of processing images as Split RAWs to enhance their dynamic range. I've gone back to the first image I submitted here to see if it could be improved.

Prelude - Using Curves in DCU
This is how it looked when I first had a go at reworking it using Digital Camera Utility. The curve was N-shaped (the opposite of S-shaped) with highlights pulled down and shadows pushed up. There were probably some changes to Saturation, Contrast and Sharpness as well.

(Scaled 66.6%)

1. Splitting the RAW
To recover the burnt-out highlights, two images are generated that will be recombined as HDR later. The first will have a reduced exposure with detail restored in the highlights; the second will retain a normal-ish exposure for the rest of the picture. The images should be identical in every processing parameter except exposure.

I switch to the Neutral picture profile and reduce Saturation so that there are no 'Out of Gamut' colours (shown by one of the drop-down buttons). Saturation can be restored in the HDR program. (The previous images were rotated slightly to make the stem more vertical - I have undone that at this stage).

The left image has the exposure reduced by one-and-a-third stops; the right has the exposure unchanged.

(Scaled 66.6%)

2a. Recombination as HDR
I use Photomatix as I got a free copy with a magazine. The two images are loaded: they don't need to be 'aligned' as they're from the same source and everything should line up. However, because both images have the same EXIF data, the program doesn't know the difference in exposure: this has to be entered manually.

Here are what some of the presets look like. Left: Fusion Average, Right: Fusion 2 image.

(Scaled 25%)

Left: Fusion Automatic, Right: Fusion Intensive.

(Scaled 25%)

2b. Recombination as HDR
The output of the Automatic preset was pretty good, but I try to use the Tone Mapping - Contrast Optimiser method. Here are the settings I used: you can see at the bottom a vaguely useful info box that describes what the sliders do.

Here's what the final result looks like:

(Scaled 50%)


Link Posted 15/03/2019 - 04:38
Beautiful coloring flowers. I loved to see flowers photography. Thanks for sharing.
Moment Stamper: Date Stamp Photo


Link Posted 15/03/2019 - 08:07
Excellent tutorial. I like the result, but the background seems to dark to me.

Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff



Link Posted 15/03/2019 - 09:30
I prefer the slightly darker background, a superb image. there's also more saturation / detail and imo looks more realistic than the original.


" A Hangover is something that occupies the Head you neglected to use the night before".

K1 - Pentax 100 Macro F2.8 - Sigma 85mm F1.4, Pentax 150 -450 F4.5 / 5.6

Pentax FA 24 - 70 F2.8, Sigma 100-300 F4, Samyang 14mm F2.8, Sigma 70-200 F2.8,

K5iis - Sigma 17 - 70 F2.8, Sigma 70 - 300 F3.5/F5.6, Sigma 18 - 200 F3.6 / F4.5.
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