HDR to the rescue, but is no silver bullet

I was looking at some unpublished images I had, and one struck me as a possible candidate for HDR to pull out light and color. I’ve posted the image to Flickr and Aminus3 and received nice comments on it, but it’s not perfect. Here’s a before and after comparison.

 

The original was dark and flat and bland, the HDR pulled out some light and color and created a pleasing image. Amazing what can be done with one RAW image. However, Photomatix worked awfully hard to get that – most settings were maxed out. And there are artifacts in the image which result from too dark of a source image.

 

There is some odd blue highlighting in the trees which shouldn’t be there.

Moral of the story: watch your histogram. If the source image(s) show(s) too much clipping, then there may be missing data which will cause odd effects in your HDR.

Balloon Festival

First time going to a balloon festival evening … event. I thought there would be 20-50 balloons flaming up into the sunset skies, but there were 2 or 3 firing their burners without ever leaving the ground. Hmmm.