Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Buckfast Abbey at sunset

A few weeks ago, I had a friend staying over and we paid a visit to the Abbey at Buckfast. As the afternoon turned into evening, the light took on that beautiful quality you sometimes get in the aptly-named "golden hour".

In all its glory...

Buckfast Abbey at sunset
I fired off maybe twenty shots from various angles, viewpoints and at different settings, trying to make sure I captured "the shot", the one that shows off the abbey and its beautiful architecture to the best.

..and I think I got it.. ..what do you think?

In the digital darkroom

I decided to take the shot through the HDR process to try to reproduce what I has seen with my eyes, so prepared a number of different exposures from the same RAW file. I used Dynamic Photo HDR to combine them all into one tone-mapped image and then it was into Photoshop for the editing.

I cloned out a small figure, waiting discreetly at the edge of the frame for me to take the photo; kind person :) I also removed a couple of distracting low pillar lights in the bottom left corner. They added nothing and, being so close to the frame edge, were just plain distracting — they had to go.

As a final step in this part of the process, I corrected / straightened the converging verticals a bit to give a more eye-pleasing end result.

I then applied my normal workflow, relying on a tad of contrast achieved with a 5% opacity curves layer set to the overlay blend mode, a slight adjustment to the levels and finishing off with a subtle vignette to keep the viewer's eye in the centre.

A final bit of sharpening with the unsharp mask finished off the image.

The joy of photography

I enjoyed the company I was with, the cream tea(!), making the capture and working with the image in the digital darkroom — I hope you take pleasure in the result as much as I derived in bringing it to you.

Season's Greetings to you :)

comments / critique / feedback / tweets / buzzes always welcome :)
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