Let There Be Light

As I continue to test out the capabilities of Capture One Pro 10 on my image library, having converted my complete Aperture library to Capture One Pro, I am continued to be impressed by the quality of the images coming out of this application. Once I got my head around the different post-processing functionalities I am starting to like it more each day as I test out various images from my past  catalogue.

In 2013 I visited China and the beautiful national park of Jiuzhaigou. One of our first stops was Long Lake, a stunning lake surrounded by mountains and trees in a variety of autumnal colours. The day we visited was dull and rainy with low clouds and mist over the mountains making for a rather dull view.


The original straight-out-of-camera RAW file, as shown here,  looked dull and certainly did not bring out the full beauty and dynamics of the vista.

I actually took 3 bracketed shots to create an HDR image which as shown below.The colours have been brought out in their full glory as well as all the details of the cloudy sky over the mountains.

HDR Image from 3 bracketed RAW files

As a comparsion I wanted to try and see what image I could create using Capture One Pro 10, just using the 0 EV mid-bracket RAW file.

With only a few minor adjustments to the base image including a slight increase in exposure and brightness and then using the high dynamic range sliders for highlights and shadows to reduce the exposure in the highlighted cloudy areas and bringing out some details in the shadow areas of the image plus an adjustment to the levels brought out so much more from the image as shown below.

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Adjustments for base image

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I wanted to adjust the cloud area to try and brighten it up some more. I added a local adjustment layer then by using a gradient mask over the sky area, then deleted this mask over the mountains just leaving the mask covering the clouds. By using a tungsten white balance setting and then making an adjustment to the saturation brought more of a blue tone to the sky making the final image a lot brighter and more appealing as shown below.

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Local adjustments for masked sky area

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So I am much happier with this final image produced by Capture One Pro which I feel is more natural than the HDR image, which tends to muddy the trees, makes the sky too dark and too detailed and the colours a little too bright and fluorescent. It brings out the light and the beautiful colours of this location. I will now be less inclined to take bracketed shots and do HDR with the knowledge that Capture One Pro has the capabilities to extract out detail in the shadow areas as well as manage those higher exposed areas such as sky.

Passionate Photographer …. Lost in Asia

Stuart Taylor of HighlanderImages Photography has been making images for over 25 years and can offer a diverse range of photo imaging services with a focus on Asia and a documentary/photojournalistic style. These services include planning and executing a photo shoot on location but importantly all the post-processing and image preparation needed for the specific finished media format required by the customer. Stuart’s experience and knowledge in all of these aspects makes HighlanderImages Photography a one-stop-shop for a comprehensive and professional image production service.

Stuart can be available for a variety individual assignments or projects and he specialises in areas such as photojournalism, commercial, architectural, real estate, industrial, interior design, corporate, urbex, adventure, wilderness and travel photography. Stuart can also offer some innovative and advanced techniques such as HDR (High Dynamic Range) and Panoramic Photography.

Final image products can be delivered as high resolution images, prints, books, multimedia slideshows, videos and DVDs. Images from this website can be purchased as prints in a variety of sizes and media, as gift items or as digital downloads.

E-Mail : staylor@highlanderimages.com

Website : http://www.highlanderimages.com


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