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Old Sep 8, 2010, 11:45 AM   #1
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Default Sunset HDR with Topaz

I took this sunset pic of I-84 in Middletown last night. The building with the flag near center-right is the mall.

I took 7 shots and processed them twice in DPHDR -- once with the foreground aligned (highway and trees) and a second time with the clouds aligned (thru DPHDR's pin-warping). I then combined the two (with the help of Topaz Remask) and processed them with Topaz Adjust and Topaz Detail.

For the foreground HDR, I used all 7 shots. For the sky, since 2 shots have blown-out skies anyway, I only used the 5 darker shots.

I used Adjust's "crisp" preset for the sky and Detail's "micro contrast enhancement" preset for the foreground.

I then shrunk the image to 1024 pixels wide, used Topaz DeNoise to smoothen, removed fringing, and sharpened in PSE7.

Too much work? I think it's worth it but would appreciate your thoughts. Thank you for looking.

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Old Sep 8, 2010, 5:48 PM   #2
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its never to much work when it produces such a nice looking sky
its got an allmost 3D effect
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 8:38 AM   #3
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Thanks a lot, kazuya.
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Old Sep 11, 2010, 1:07 AM   #4
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I really like it, too - a lovely sky. It doesn't look over-processed and you have no halos in the sky because of the way you did it.
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Old Sep 11, 2010, 1:36 PM   #5
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Thanks a lot, mtngal. There are a lot of presets in Topaz Adjust but I like to use "crisp" for skies. It adds a lot of grain (but not as much as "detailed", "small detail", psychedelic" and some other presets) but in the process adds detail. I then shrink the image (from the original hi-res image from my camera) and use Topaz DeNoise to remove the grain. For the foreground, I've been using Topaz Detail's "micro contrast enhancement". It seems to work best for my camera's resolution before being shrunk, compared to the other presets.
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Old Sep 12, 2010, 5:17 PM   #6
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I really like Detail and use it a lot, but for some reason I didn't like Adjust as much. I ended up coming up with my own Detail settings for a preset but will use micro contrast enhancement on occasion. I'll have to try using it before resizing, I usually resize first.
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Old Sep 13, 2010, 9:22 AM   #7
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I was googling Topaz over the weekend and came across a Topaz page (not sure how to access it from their website -- it was like a blog) that said many people were confused about the difference between Adjust and Detail.

I thought about applying Adjust first before re-sizing because of the grain introduced by the "crisp" preset. I think resizing eliminated much of the coarseness and DeNoise removed what's left.
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Old Sep 19, 2010, 2:43 PM   #8
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Excellent photo, excellent work on HD which makes the sky excellent. But, don't you think the earth is little ignored?
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Old Sep 19, 2010, 5:25 PM   #9
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Absolutely beautiful shot. I really love it and think itīs a wall hanger.

Best regards/Daniel
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Old Sep 20, 2010, 4:10 PM   #10
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Thanks, Subhs. If you mean it's cropped a little too tight, it's because there were two lampposts on each side I was trying to avoid. And if I remember right, if I lower my shot, the parking lot railing would show. I was actually searching for a good spot very close-by to take sunset pics -- so far I haven't found any. (I've found a good spot for sunrises, though, at Slaughter Road.)

Thanks a lot, Daniel. Some of my friends liked it, too, more than most of my shots.
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