texture FTW.

If you check out the before and after for this image, you’ll notice that it’s not the HDR effect that’s making the difference. It’s the focus on texture that’s making the difference.

For the life of me I can’t remember where shot this. All I know is that was somewhere in Tuscany’s Chianti Region in Italy. Our friends were giving us an awesome tour of the surrounding towns and this was one of the stops along the road. My dumb as$ didn’t write it down…

Anyway, I guess the location really isn’t important. The real point to the story is something completely different. — Like a complete noob, I shot the entire town with the the camera in manual focus mode. Since I was using the Nikkor 14-24, shooting at around 14(ish), I didn’t even notice that everything was out of focus. That is, of course, until I started post processing…

So what did I do about it?

Well yea, of course, first I cried like a little school girl… But then I gave Topaz InFocus a try and wow. While it’s not a perfect fix, when you combine it with some other sharpening methods, it really helps the image pop.

I’m including a slightly more detailed description in the Technical Mumbo Jumbo. — Later, when I have more time, I’ll write some tutorials on the specific ways to use each of the pluggins to their full potential. For now, download some demos and give them a try.

Technical Mumbo Jumbo:

– Nikon D3 – Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8@ 14mm f/2.8 Iso: 100 (Manual Focus = Duh.)
– 5 (handheld) Exposure Brackets (-2,-1,0,1,2)
HDR Photography Processing & Tone Mapping using Photomatix Pro
– Post Processing & Color Correction in Photoshop
– Sharpened Edges with Topaz InFocus (Global Setting of 0.4)
– Enhanced detail with Nik Software Sharpener Pro (Default Setting + 15 to Structure)
– Used the Photoshop High Pass Filter (Applied only to the Foreground, from the arch forward)
– Shifted the brick color to a deeper and more interesting red
– Added Selective Contrast to certain bricks and areas to make them pop
– Selective Contrast areas to enhance lighting effects
– Rotated the image slightly because apparently I can’t hold a camera straight

Daily Banana – A Textured Path

(move the slider to compare before and after)

HDR Photo - Tuscany Italy - A Textured Path