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Old Apr 19, 2010, 9:00 PM   #1
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Default Central Park - South East Corner

I took pictures of Central Park's Southeast Corner last Friday. The corner is on 5th Avenue and 59th Street -- a tourist heavy (perhaps the tourist-heaviest besides Times Square) part of New York City.

Processing is simple:
1) Shoot RAW.
2) Use Photomatix's "Painterly" tonemap.
3) Set Lighting->Levels in PSE to 0.45 (from default 1.00)
4) Sharpen with PSE.

#1)


#2)


#3)


#4) Apple Store on the same corner diagonally across from Central Park.


Thank you for looking! C&C welcome.
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 11:23 PM   #2
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All these are gorgeous. I love the pp you have done on these.
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 11:38 PM   #3
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i really like the composition on the first shot. the lovely flowered foreground, etc. i also really like shot #2 and #3, oh heck, i like the comps on them all.

the pp is different, its not really my cup of tea, i do like a heavy hdr sometimes, but this is so heavy that the contrast is reversed. then again, as you can see from roberts post, each has their own taste here.
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 11:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hards80 View Post
i really like the composition on the first shot. the lovely flowered foreground, etc. i also really like shot #2 and #3, oh heck, i like the comps on them all.

the pp is different, its not really my cup of tea, i do like a heavy hdr sometimes, but this is so heavy that the contrast is reversed. then again, as you can see from roberts post, each has their own taste here.
Dustin, actually I agree with you on the last pic especially, it could be "toned down" a little..
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 1:40 AM   #5
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The first HDR of the tulips are absolutely gorgeous!
The last image is too heavy for me, but I like the composition.
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Old Apr 20, 2010, 12:58 PM   #6
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Thanks a lot, all, for the comments and compliments.

I agree about the “heaviness”. Photomatix is great in that its output is more susceptive and responsive to PSE’s sliders. I can brighten an image to extremes and not introduce artifacts. The danger is it’s easy to overdo things.

I keep remembering mtngal’s previous comment (probably more of warning) that increasing contrast also increases saturation. I was trying to achieve high contrast. Photomatix’s “painterly” tonemap starts out ghostly pale but responds well to PSE’s contrast sliders. Probably too well that I end up with too much green in my leaves when I wanted my tulips fuchsia as they are.

In the pics below, I added another pp step. I wanted to preserve the contrast so I added a step to decrease saturation.

#5)


#6)
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Old Apr 21, 2010, 5:35 AM   #7
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The composition of all your shots from your first series/set is amazing - so are the tulips in #1! Thanks a lot for sharing these wonderful shots!
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Old Apr 22, 2010, 12:21 AM   #8
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#1 & #2 are my favorites. My assessment of #3 is a nice composition, however the sky looks like it was given a heavy dose of burn in. HDR can make skies look dramatic, however it will throw you a curve ball and you have to deal with it. Photomatix will do this from time to time. Always go to my standby (DPHDR) when Photomatix lets me down. Another problem with Photomatix is when you are dealing with fence lines, stair cases, or rows of something. It has a tendency to make shadow patterns. Oh well we live by the sword when dealing with HDR and sometime we die by the HDR sword...
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Old Apr 22, 2010, 2:58 PM   #9
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I like all your shots (as usual), particularly #4 the apple store shot. Did you do that HDR from a single Raw file? There was no ghosting or artifacts so I assume it was.
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Old Apr 23, 2010, 7:10 AM   #10
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Thanks, all, for the compliments and comments.

Maggo85, there are actually a lot of tulips all over NYC. Flower pots on every street and avenue are filled with them. I'm just unimaginative when it comes to taking pictures of flowers. The takeout-delivery-bicycles chained to lampposts, gums on the pavement, construction work equipment, orange traffic drums and cones, etc., in the background don't help either .

Today I brought my fixed 50mm f/1.8 lens to experiment with flower closeups. I'll decide later if they're worth sharing.

AncientRitual, I just recently noticed the shadow patterns created by Photomatix that you mentioned. I was taking pictures of a very small church (more like a chapel) that has very little ornamentation and light-colored walls and ceilings. There are shadows on the walls where there shouldn't be. I'll post pics later.

Bynx, yes, they are all from single RAW files. I still take pictures in brackets but I like the fact that I can avoid ghosting with RAW. All the above are done in Photomatix. When I use DPHDR I still get better results with three JPEGs than 1 RAW. But maybe I just haven't played around with DPHDR's sliders yet to better handle RAW.
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