Re-edit Friday; Łęczyca Monastery

Re-edit Friday is revisiting Łęczyca. Łęczyca is an medieval town near to where I live. Apart from having a castle where legend says the devil lives, it also host a nunnery and a monastery.

The picture was taken on a sunny summers day in the courtyard of the Monastery. The photo is a 3 image HDR processed in Photomatix and then edited in Photoshop as a smart object with a curves  and a hue and saturation adjustment layer.

The image generally looks like a HDR image but I have some problems with it. It has a very warm feel, for this time of day there should not be as much yellow in the image. Also the tones are flat in the leaves in the foreground. There are toning problems on the cross that has light area at the bottom which then darkens at the top. The saturation of the image is high causing the reds to be clipped in places like the flag. This over saturation of red  is off putting to the eye. The colour red can greatly improve an image by making it more appealing but it also can distract the eye if it it is too strong.

To re-edit this image I took the original raw files and this time instead of processing them in Photomatix I used HDR Efex Pro that I have been trying out recently.

I processed the image and then used the single layer and transformed it into a smart object. I then used the  lens correction filter to fix the lens distortion of the image. With the filter I couldn’t get it right so I went back and used image transform – distort. Using the distort tool I dragged the top right corner right to straiten the bells, the cross and the lower portion of the statue of Mary.

I added a dodge and burn layer. I burnt in the floor of the court yard and areas of the sky and dodged out areas of the building. I added a curves layer to add contrast and a second for added contrast to the mural hanging on the building.

Finally I reduced noise, sharpened and cropped the image.

The re-edit looks really nice. The image still has saturation and contrast but now I don’t feel its is distracting. The crop of the image is similar giving it a balanced composition  The lack of warmth is quite nice and the coolness brings a nice light feel to the image.

Overall there is not a huge difference between the two images these small details can take an image from being a messy over processed HDR to a nicely toned image.

The processing though HDR Efex Pro also helped the image a lot because there was a lot less noise in the toned image than when I processed the original in Photomatix.

Do you like the new edit to the image, or do you prefer my first attempt. Let me know in the comments section below.

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