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I have been trying to catch the sunrise each morning from the Big Four Bridge. Yesterday I arrived at the bridge at the same time that a cold front was moving in from the southwest. The weather forecast was for rain to start by 10:00 am and the sky was very active as the front progressed. I decided that it might be interesting to shoot the river and the Kennedy Bridge as I watched the clouds build up.
I set up my tripod looking west from the ramp going up to the Big Four Bridge and captured several five exposure bracket sets of the Kennedy Bridge. Back in the studio I opened the morning’s shoot and found this image. I usually try to get several variations of my subject when I shoot as I have learned over time that the best way for me to evaluate a composition is in the studio on the monitor. I chose this image because I liked the way the handrail swept into the frame.
I used all five exposures +2, +1, 0, -1, and -2, which I merged in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2. I used the default preset in NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 as my starting point as I started my tone mapping. I liked the way the sky and bridge had turned out but the lawn had acquired an over saturated green tone that was in conflict with the blues and grays of the rest of the image. I dropped a control point into the grass and desaturated it slightly to get it back to what I saw as I shot the scene. I find that these control point adjustments work well when there is a marked difference in the colors in the image where they are applied. In this case the green was so distinct in the image that it worked like a charm.
I returned the merged TIFF image to Aperture 3 where I adjusted the vibrance very slightly and applied some sharpening before exporting it as a jpeg for the web.