The After and Before forum is organised by Stacy Fischer, it is a place where amateurs as well as seasoned photographers explain the wow and how about their photo and editing decision.
You can read more here about how to take part.
Lightroom has been updated with a new HDR merge function. Two weeks ago I combined this with the panorama to create a HDR Panoramic and previous to that I had given it a whirl with an old picture. This week while writing my Digital Darkroom post about refining selections and mask, I found one of my favourite pictures from a few years ago; The Renaissance Granary in Torun.
The Renaissance Granary is one of the more interesting buildings in Torun. The Granary was built in the first half of the seventeenth century, designed in the Dutch Style. It has eight floors, and the window frames are modelled like sacks of grain. It is adjacent to the Gothic granary built in the fourteenth century. Thanks to its decoration it looked grander than some middle-class houses in the area.
Huge profits encouraged the citizens of Torun not only to take care of these warehouses, but also converted some residential buildings in spacious barns. Some of these buildings have now been converted into hotels, museums or offices, reversing the renovations a few hundred years ago; showing that the citizens of Torun are always ready to adapt.
While looking at the picture I wondered what the difference would be between my original HDR version and one that I could create now in Lightroom. What better place to see that the after before forum.
I created the HDR using three exposures. I adjusted the perspective first, I used the auto option first and then tweaked it a bit more manually.
The sky needed to be darkened; I used the gradient tool to reduce the exposure and then used the new brush feature to remove the gradient form the building.
I wanted the building to really stand out so I added a brush adjustment to brighten the building as well as increase the contrast and saturation.
The light falling in the foreground was also quite bright; so I used the brush tool to reduce the exposure and increase the clarity.
The colours were a bit flat for a HDR and I punched them up. First I increased the saturation for the reds and oranges and adjusted the luminance of the blues and reds mainly to make them a bit richer.
The final adjustments were really to create a slight s curve in the curves and sharpen the image.
I quite like the final image, there isn’t as much texture as you think there would be for a hdr but there is not realy haloing which can be a problem with buildings and bright skies. The colours are really nice a punchy after editing and the granary really does stand out.
There are things I like about both pictures; in the Niksoft version I like the colour of the bricks and the removal of the warmth from the foreground I do like the texture in the bricks . I don’t really like the haloing in the sky and the darkness covering the top of the building (which I think is due to a gradient being used for the sky). In the lightroom version everything is pleasant but it is missing the grittiness that I kind of like in the Niksoft edit.
I went back to my Lightroom edit and adjusted the hue of the red to make it less orange and played with the perspective a bit more. I also increased the clarity a bit to get some more texture out of the bricks.
I would love to know your thoughts on this image be it positive or negative.
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