A few weeks ago I was standing at the end of Deal Pier as the sun was thinking about setting.
It was a beautiful moment of contrasts. The shadows were already leaving parts of the scene dark while the sun was intensely lighting other parts. I knew that this was not going to turn out very well straight out of the camera so I shot a bracketed image that I could use later create an HDR image in Photoshop. The link that I have included I picked because it has some good tips, but also because it contains my least favorite thing, and that is a bit telling you when you should or shouldn’t use HDR. I understand that sometimes when learning a new technique it is best to narrow your focus and give it a try in situations where you are likely to get a good result. However, I really think when it comes to editing, you should broaden your horizons and experiment. The beautiful thing about digital editing is that you can always throw away versions you don’t like, so why be bound by traditional rules?
Here is the version of the image above with the highest exposure:
You can see why some editing was going to be required. In addition to creating an HDR image, which was the first step, I then cropped the image. Next I used the curves feature to bring some more detail into the darker parts of the images. I then increased the vibrance and saturation a bit. Sharpening the image was the last step. It may sound like quite a bit of editing, but I wanted to recreate the feel of that moment on the pier.
What do you think of the final version? Do you find yourself sometimes hemmed in by the rules of photography only to then realize that they are guidelines and not actually set in stone? Feel free to comment below.