HDR of Robyn Keith at Work

Robyn Keith  #2
Robyn Keith #2

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The woman in this image is Robyn Keith. Robyn is a carpenter and I wanted to capture her at work with the rising sun behind her. The light was really rich the morning I shot this and the sparks flying from her cutting wheel also caught me eye. I also liked the way the morning sunlight was reflecting off the surface of the concrete form that she was working on and tying the sparks, the sunlit sky and the reflections together.

This HDR image was created in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 from my standard bracket set of +2, o and -2 EV. Because she was moving slightly while cutting off the rebar, I had to apply 80% anti-ghosting to eliminate some ghosting around her head. When applying anti-ghosting I always strive to use the smallest percentage possible to avoid creating other artifacts in the image. In this case 80% was the lowest amount I could use; anything less than that amount left ghosts of her head and hands. I could have dealt with that issue inside Photoshop but the anti-ghosting settings in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 usually are a much simpler approach and work very well in most cases.After merging the three frames I applied the Balanced preset to do my basic tone-mapping. I like to use that preset because it adds a small amount of contrast to the initial merger and sets the stage for me to adjust the shadows and highlights without adding too much of an over-processed HDR feel to the merged files. As usual I returned the merged files to Aperture 3 where I completed adjusting it and sharpened it.

5 thoughts on “HDR of Robyn Keith at Work

  1. Your photo is fabulous with all of the hot and cold contrasts. How would you rate the anti-ghosting features in Photomatix compared to the Nik product?

    1. My limited experience with PhotoMatix isn’t that good. I have only tried using it a few times and found it too heavy handed for my taste; I also find the interface kind of disjointed and distracting. I didn’t think it did as good a job with people moving in the scene either. I shoot most of my images handheld unless the light is too low to compensate with ISO or Aperture adjustments so ghosting is almost always a factor I need to deal with especially when there are people in the scene.

      I also tried another HDR program, HDR Expose 3 from Unified Color, and found it’s anti-ghosting to be really difficult to use or get decent results with. I have experimented with most of the HDR software on the market and in my book none are as good as NIK HDR Efex Pro 2.

      I don’t get any affiliate commissions for pointing people in the NIK/Google software but I still feel it is the best one out today. I wouldn’t be surprised to see OnOne offer a HDR plugin in the future but until they or some other software company tops NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 I’ll stick with it.

      That’s my two cents anyway….

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