HDR – Before & After

Since I get asked from time to time how much I edit my photos, the answer is A LOT! Here is a before and after example. The image on the left is the embedded JPEG preview from the RAW file right out of the camera before editing. It is the middle of seven exposures to capture the entire color and brightness range. In my mind I could see what I could get out of the images later in post-production.

For photographers using Lightroom: at a minimum I use a calibrated profile for my specific camera and lens combination in Lightroom (usually calibrated for that specific scene for color critical shots), a custom white balance (usually set in the field when I shoot the calibration target), removal of chromatic aberration and lens distortion, leveling and cropping when necessary, and localized sharpening and noise reduction where necessary. If they are HDR brackets at this point they get tonemapped or fused into single images, sometimes before or after stitching if the final image is a panorama. Finally, I adjust exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, clarity, vibrance, saturation, creative vignetting, and add whatever creative filters or effects I might want to the image. The image on the right has eight different effects applied. I also removed a sign that I didn’t like in the scene. I don’t usually go that crazy though!

Check out the rest of the photos from the day here:

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