Saturday, December 11, 2010

Yuletide Nostalgia


It is time to shoot another round of HDR Christmas images. I like looking for scenes or window displays that have a nostalgic feel to them. The HDR illustrative look really lends itself to this type of image.

Basic steps for this look:

  1. Shoot for HDR – likely a five stop range for these – three in some cases.
  2. Adjust the white balance in the HDR image set using your RAW processing software before you start the HDR processing. Lightroom or ACR for example .
  3. Process for a grunge look with something like Photomatix. I tend to keep the light smoothing set mid to max, max strength, max microcontrast and max luminosity. Set the color slider to your taste (you can correct it  in step 5 as well).
  4. Save the image after adjusting tone settings.
  5. Reopen the saved image in Photomatix and process it with the sliders set as they were for step 3. Fine tune the color. Save again.
  6. With your standard post processing tool (Elements, Lightroom, Photoshop, etc.) correct the contrast (almost always required), add a vignette, burn/dodge, clean up the image if needed, etc.


I was fortunate to find these images in my town of Forest Grove. Check out antique shops in your area one night.