©2015 Jeff Morgan

Pic of the Week - Page 209

Gartempe River, Montmorillon, France

Location : Montmorillon, in the department of Vienne which is part of the French region Poitou-Charentes.

The old bridge across the Gartempe River, dating in part from the 15th century with the Church of Notre-Dame on the hill behind. The curious tower built on a rocky outcrop is the site of an ancient castle; the tower overlooks the town and has a large statue of the Virgin on top. Montmorillon is now classed as a 'Town of Art and History' to reflect its focus on preserving its historical heritage. This image was captured just after sunrise a couple of days before this spring’s photography workshop in France and is one of the locations we can visit.

Photographed using a tripod-mounted Canon 5DmkIII camera and a Canon TS-E 17mm f/4 L lens. I used Live View focusing at 10x on the iris. The camera was set to manual exposure mode, f/22, ISO 100 and daylight white balance. The camera settings were chosen to have longer exposures to smooth the river and enhance the reflection (no filters are possible on this lens). I then captured a series of 10 exposures from 4 seconds all the way to 1/25th of a second in one stop increments. The RAW processing, creating and saving of the 32 bit HDRI file was all done in Photoshop CC. The HDRI TIFF was then opened and tone mapped in Photomatix Pro 5. All final adjustments were done back in Photoshop CC. However I did not like the HDR rendition of the yellow flag iris in the foreground so it has been replaced from a single image out of the same set used for the HDR.

I have been asked many times why I first build the HDR image in Photoshop and then Tone Map it in Photomatix Pro, since it seems the logical thing is to do it all in one program. I appreciate the image quality you can get from the full control of Adobe Camera Raw. You should always take a lot of care to set the white balance controls, the lens correction and the noise reduction to the optimum for the HDR image set. You can then simply save all the images as TIFF files for processing in Photomatix Pro, but since the Remove Ghosts option in Photoshop is so good I find it better to build the HDRI directly in Photoshop CC. Turning off Align Images when building the HDR image in Photoshop is the best bet. It doesn’t appear quite pixel-accurate, because it will slightly blur my tripod shot images. You can now save the HDRI as a 32 bit TIFF file in Photoshop CC for export to Photomatix Pro 5. I personally love the look you can get with Photomatix’s Tone Mapping. There are lots of adjustments to play with, allowing you to get just the look required for the subject. The Bottom Line is that Photoshop offers a much better raw converter – and it’s also really great at removing ghosting when required. However Photomatix offers a very specific look with its tone mapping adjustments that I find very attractive. I really do enjoy using the best of both worlds.

If you would like to attend one of these workshops in France then please contact me. Full information is available here:   'The Forgotten France'

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