Archive for the ‘Photomatix Pro 4’ Tag

Hobnobbin’   Leave a comment


A pool outside an estate on a bright sunny day, New Bern, North Carolina

Sorry about the dearth of posts, lately. I’ve been fairly well wrapped up with various shoots and a sometimes pesky little thing called ‘life.’

This image was a test from a real estate shoot, but I liked it well enough to keep it. Typically, I’d like to shoot in more benign conditions than the middle of a bright, sunny day, but we can’t always pick and choose. In this case, I think the bright light makes for an inviting pool scene.

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Processed from 9 exposures at 1EV steps using Promote Control. Merged using Unified Color’s HDR Expose and adjusted in Photoshop CS with 32 Float, also from Unified Color. I liked what Photomatix Pro 4 did with the stonework, so I touched in a little detail from that program using layer masking. Actually had to knock the blues back a bit, too! The first ‘final’ version’s sky looked a bit too contrived. Finally, the windows were reflecting a lot of blue, which was distracting, so I applied an Exposure adjustment layer in that area to tone down the glare. A noise-reduction run on the sky with Noiseware Pro was the only other adjustment.

Discount coupons for the above software are located here.


They Never Call…   4 comments


An old, grungy telephone at Peter Limmer & Sons in Intervale, New Hampshire.
You know how it is. You give someone your number, and…

Inspired by a recent Brian Matiash webinar, I used onOne Phototools to grunge this scene up a bit, only to realize that it was pretty darned grungy to start with.

This old telephone — and one only slightly newer — can be found at Peter Limmer & Sons, Bootmakers, in Intervale, New Hampshire. The shop is a a curious and eclectic sort of place… just perfect for HDR. They do make a great boot, and I’m happy that Peter let me get a pair as well as grab some brackets.

(If you haven’t seen the HDR of the homeless Limmers in my photostream, visit Consigned )

The phone looks cool when viewed Extra Large, so please click on the image above to see it Extra Large in a new window.

This image was derived from a set of eleven exposures taken with the Promote Control. This worked out well, as the lighting was very dim in the shop. I merged and tonemapped them using Photomatix Pro 4, settling on settings that Matiash had suggested in his recent “Grunge” seminar.

I used several different filter effects from onOne Phototools to set up the grunge look, as well as the slightly blue cast in the windows. Following that with NIK Color Efex Pro Darken/Lighten Center (one of my favorites) and then a little dark vignetting seemed to work well.  Last thing was to block out the phone number that had been written on the shelf.  I was going to put in 867-5309, but does anyone really remember that song anymore?

I Found My Thrill…   Leave a comment


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Sunset at Acadia National Park, Blueberry Hill on Cadillac Mountain, Maine

on Blueberry Hill, on the auto road to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, in Acadia National Park, Maine.

You can click on the picture for a lager view in my Landscapes Gallery.

As friend Bob Lussier might suggest, it’s “just another Acadia sunset.” Ay-yuh…

While Acadia National Park is one of the most beautiful places we know of, it’s also the second most heavily visited national park in the country. For those looking for tourist attractions and shopping, or to get rinsed off a rock in high surf, there’s no shortage of opportunity. But if you’d prefer solitude, you can find niches and other isolated spots where you’re just not aware of another person on the planet.

Blueberry Hill, however, is not one of those places of solitude. While we really wanted to get a good Cadillac Mountain sunset shot, so did 50 other people gathered at the spot. It was worth it for the view, and I met another nice photographer during the shoot.

This image is an HDR derived from nine frames, taken using the Promote Control. Those nine frames were processed in Photomatix Pro 4 using the Shadowmapping technique found in this blog, with a little help from Topaz Adjust.  I found that very little needed to be done, though, as the scene spoke for itself.

Ruling the Roost – Photomatix Pro 4   2 comments


A peacock sits in an oak tree at the Joseph Jefferson mansion, New Iberia, Louisiana

I finally had a chance to open up the new Photomatix Pro 4 program, currently in public beta.  I had been looking forward to checking out some of the new features, particularly the anti-ghosting capabilities.

Some people have had mixed results with the anti-ghosting feature, but in the case of this bracket set it seemed to work very well.  I knew that the peacock had moved his head while I was shooting the bracket — which previously prevented me from bothering to process it — so I figured it would be a good test of the new Photomatix.

During processing, Photomatix Pro 4 allows you to draw a boundary around an area that is ghosted. From there, you can select Preview to see how Photomatix will handle the ghosting by pulling information from a single exposure.  If that doesn’t work out well, you have the choice of selecting another exposure, which I did in this case by choosing the -2EV frame.  Once this is done, you can proceed along in the usual fashion.

Just for grins, I ran the same bracket through the program without choosing the anti-ghosting features, which I assume is using much the same algorithm that Photomatix Pro 3 used.  The result of that pass was this:

While this was just my first pass with the program, things look pretty good.  There are other new features that I’ll talk about in future blog posts, so please do stay tuned.

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