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In an effort to provide more useful information on my blog throughout the year today I will give you an idea of my workflow and thought process while I process an image. Exciting right? Okay here we go…. this is a bracketed image of a local government building in my town, one which I’ve captured several times before. I like the results of the originals except for the perspective distortion produced by my Sigma 10-20mm lens. Just a consequence of using an ultra-wide angle lens. I immediately utilize the lens correction module in lightroom to bring the building back to a more realistic perspective(although not totally eliminated). I then send it to Photomatix for some tonemapping. I believe I used the default settings to produce the image below…

My processing of the original tonemapped image focused on correcting warm tones in the image, yes… I did eliminate some of the golden color but not all(you’ll actually see how I got rid of most of it in a minute). Then I focused on the over-saturation of the sky by desaturating the blues as well as increasing the luminance of the blues with the idea of giving the sky a more realistic look(but remember it is HDR). I finished up with some work on the tone curve by bringing out the shadows and adding some texture to the facade.

At this point I’m relatively satisfied with the shot but I’m curious what giving it a little umph would look like so I take it to Topaz Adjust and experiment a bit more…

Inside of Adjust I decided to go with the dramatic preset with a few refinements as the textures, small details and noise were a bit over-the-top. I really like what Topaz did to the HDR image, especially eliminating the pronounced gold color of the building, granted there is still some present but it’s not overbearing to the eye, imho. So, do you think the preset lived up to it’s name? Is it over-the-top? Give me your thoughts…I can’t wait to hear what Ron might say!!!! Ron…Ron….hey Ron…you out there?

BTW, if you click on the big images they will take you to flickr for large sizes to really see the details….check it out

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