An interesting photo that James shared with me and one I would not have thought of shooting.
This is the original shot straight out of Camera.
I was interested to bring out the moody sky which I feel reflects the sombre setting of a cemetery.
Secondly I felt that the building was the focal point of the photo that I wanted to accentuate.
Lastly, I felt that the palm fronds on the right of the photo were a distraction, but at the same time wanted to retain the ‘Office’ sign on the right so cropping was not an option to remove this.
Stage 1 – Aurora HDR 2019
This was a single image but I’m always intrigued to see the effects that could be used by Aurora HDR 2019.
Aurora provides pre-built filters which change the impact of a photo. On this occasion I felt that there were 3 different filters that conveyed the mood I liked for 3 different sections of the photo. Fortunately the program works with layers so that each filter could be applied to the relevant section. This was the first time in 1½ years of using this software that I’ve tried this technique and it proved to be relatively easy to do.
The 3 sections were:
I wanted this to be dark and moody.
This filter really popped the colours of the building and roof which were washed out and uninteresting in the original raw file. The effect may be too much for some tastes and unrealistic but it appealed to me.
I wanted this area to be muted so that it didn’t distract from the building. I do feel that it provides context for the building so didn’t want to crop the image.
After applying the Aurora HDR filters I then moved the photo into Luminar 3 to add some finishing touches.
Stage 2 – Luminar 3
I used Luminar’s built-in erase tool to remove the palm fronds. This tool I have only just discovered in the past week but I’m impressed with the result. Using this tool I selected the elements I wanted to remove and then Luminar decides what to replace it with. I did this in stages and then cleaned up some small imperfections with the cloning tool, where I choose what to replace my selection with.
I then made some final exposure and contrast adjustments and applied a vignette. I also lightened the text on the 2 signs one in front of the office and one to the left just next to the roadway and darkened each of the flags in the cemetery using the dodge and burning tool.
I’m always amazed at the change in the results I can achieve on a photo that I might have otherwise discarded or overlooked even though on this occasion it wasn’t my photo to begin with.
One of the other aspects that this exercise has brought to my attention is how different computers and software display colours.
I have my PC at home calibrated using ColorMunki but I have discovered that even on my own machine images can look very different. Lightroom 5, Aurora HDR 2019 and Luminar 3 all use the calibrated colours and sRGB by default.
I found that Irfanview could be set up to use these values but by default used Adobe RGB and uncalibrated values and so the images appear different.
This means that when I share my images digitally by email, social media or for presentation at the club meetings and competitions they can appear quite different from what I intended. Maybe this is one of the reasons I like to have my images printed but that’s a whole other story.
Comment by James:
Frances and I took this photo the day we left the Ottway Ranges on Anzac day. As we drove through Colac we were attracted to the cemetery by the myriad of Australian flags placed at the graves of all the veterans.
Now I must say this is fantastic work Howard. This one has to be my favorite of your tweeks. I am intrigued at how your image has such a rich golden glaze to it. It’s like you’ve baked it in honey.