Unrealistic but fun photo!
Believe it or not this is actually a real life scene. The trail in the picture is a paved cart path on a golf course. The trees, sky, sun, are real as well. This type of photo is much far from my normal photos because of the extreme use of the sliders in Lightroom (Lr) and Nik collection (picture editing software). It almost reminds me of something out of a Sci-Fi movie or the cover of a book.
The Scene and Camera
I actually noticed this scene by accident because I almost always never look behind me when inside of the golf cart. However, this time I happened to glance back as I was getting out and noticed the sun setting over the horizon. I created a beautiful glow on the hills below. Another thing that I immediately noticed was the cart path creating a leading line; taking me further away into the scene. I knew right then it was time to get the camera!
Being that this is a HDR shot, I took a series of three photos at different exposures. Taking the photos at different exposures allowed me to capture details in each photo. For example, one photo had the sky perfectly exposed while the ground and trees remained dark. The other photo had the ground and trees perfectly exposed while the sky was blown out and all the detail was lost. The last photo was an exact measurement of the cameras meter. I used a narrow aperture and balanced the camera on the golf cart so that the images would remain in line. My CPL filter came in great use as well.
I then transported them into Lr and stacked the images to create one photo. I then transferred the image to NIK Define to take out some of the noise from the image. After that I went back over to Lr and began to “play” with the sliders (settings). I literally felt like a painter with an unlimited amount of tools. Going in to detail about all of the changes I made is unnecessary because there was no method to my madness. I just went in and created why I thought to be a HDR image out of a Sci-Fi movie.
On a final note
This was an extremely fun photo to capture but more fun to edit. It’s always nice to be able to get away from the “norms” of photo editing, let loose and have some fun with it. Not only did I create a new photo it also allowed me to test and stretch the limits of my software. This is the most valuable way of learning for me because reading the guide-book can only teach so much. I encourage you all to try and create an extreme HDR photo, you might learn something new in the process.
Spark creativity by capturing the world around you one photo at a time