Sunday, 15 November 2009

tonemapping raw tutorial for the lazy photographer

since I've talked about this to a few people and spent some time describing it I thought I'd put it here so I can refer to it from now on ... and maybe if anyone finds it in google it may be useful to them.

Ok, first this is the JPG that came from the camera ... something really challenging with lighting extremes.


loading the RAW into Photomatix I select (more or less) what I think makes a good 'starting point' of an overly flat image with low strength and very long gamma ... note the settings.


I save this as a TIFF and then load it into photoshop


where I apply "local area contrast" which is essentially unsharp mask:
about 15% ~ 25%
about 50 ~ 70 pixels radius


to this I then give a quick curve tweak giving the final item:


Did you notice the extra colour detail in the scroll work on the left hand side?

I might drop the saturation a wee bit .. but hey, that's up to taste. There may be of course ways of doing this in photoshop with some masks and whatnot, but this all takes a few clicks and can be automated for "batches" of images which are "all contrasty" or whatever.

1 comment:

JayT said...

Very nice tutorial and interesting workflow. I like the image too, nice work.