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Bringing out the shadow details in a high dynamic range image
Posted By: atupdate, 01-12-2011, 11:03 AM

Many people use dodge and burn to bring out the shadow details in an image. Here is a process that should be a little less time consuming. All processing was done with Paint Shop Pro X but Photoshop will work just as easily.

Here is my original processed from raw so as to keep the details in the water from blowing out.


1) First,I made a duplicate layer and desaturated it using Hue/Saturation/Lightness



2) Then I changed the B&W duplicate layer to a negative.



3) Then you change the blend mode of the duplicate layer to Overlay and change the Opacity to approximately 50-55%. Different photos will require a different Opacity setting but generally it will fall between 40-75%.

Now merge the duplicate layer into the background layer. The image should look kind of washed out. Don't worry, now I'll show you a technique to bring a little pop back to the image.


4) To give the image some pop, I use a double USM process shared by benjikan.Benjamin Kanarek post processing method | PentaxLife

Here are the settings I used. The first USM action was Radius @ 0.3, Strength @ 250, and Clipping @ 0. The second USM action was Radius @ 50, Strength @ 12, and Clipping @ 0. After you run both USM actions, duplicate the layer and set the blend mode to Soft Light and adjust the opacity to what looks good to you (I used 100% opacity on this image).


This duplicate USM layer can also be desaturate and the opacity decreased if contrast and saturation are too strong.

Once you flatten all the layers, you can now tweak the image using layers or curves if you desire. I liked what I saw and went directly to resize.


5) Resize for the web and use USM (Radius @ 1, Strength @ 100, and Clipping @ 3) to sharpen the final image


Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

Tim
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01-12-2011, 12:09 PM   #2
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Decent technique. I'd argue that with that image I wouldn't ahve applied any resharpening after the resize for web. downscaling an image tends to make it sharper anyway, and the end result is riddled with sharpening artifacts that I suspect aren't there (or at least aren't as bad) at full size.
01-12-2011, 12:29 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by raz-0 Quote
Decent technique. I'd argue that with that image I wouldn't ahve applied any resharpening after the resize for web. downscaling an image tends to make it sharper anyway, and the end result is riddled with sharpening artifacts that I suspect aren't there (or at least aren't as bad) at full size.
I think part of what you are seeing is the effect of hosting the images on Photobucket. The final image looked pretty good on my monitor.

Thanks for the feedback.

Tim
01-17-2011, 02:11 PM   #4
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Good work Tim, and thanks for sharing this.
Photoshop does simplify the process with their Shadow/Highlight tool under Image -> Adjustments.
One stop shop for bringing out shadow as well as highlight details.

e.g.

Original


Shadow Amount 30%, shadow tonal width 40%, radius 50px
Highlights Amount 20%, highlight tonal width 30%, radius 40px

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