Friday, April 29, 2011

Even Adobe Photoshop CS5 Can't Make This Look Better

I've got to admit it, the garage got away from me over the winter.  Some things are there for good reason.  At least it was a good reason four months ago.  In the lower left is the handle of the snow blower.  For a while it seemed like it was being used every other day for some serious snow removal.  Ten inches, twelve inches, fifteen inches.  It was a tough winter.  The reason for today's image is a promise to the wife to straighten up the garage.  I wanted a frame of reference for a starting point so, if it doesn't meet with her complete approval, at least I could show the improvement.  While I was taking a couple of shots I figured it was easy enough to fire away with the camera set on auto bracketing and see what a fringe HDR image might look like.  It turned out to be a nine shot bracket.  All nine shots were not used to make the HDR conversion.  The lightest and darkest didn't have enough information to worry about, so they were dropped.  The "proper" exposure, one two stops under and one three stops over were selected for the HDR.  I really wasn't going for any sort of exaggerated reality.  I wasn't going for any sort of reality at all.  I figured on maxing out most of the sliders in Adobe Photoshop CS5's HDR Pro.  Then the colors were pumped up even more.  The result is that I can identify every culprit that needs attention and form a plan to work toward.  For that it is a successful image.  For art?  I don't think so.  To find out just what was done, hit the "read more".

Talk about double processed, today's image was probably triple processed at least.  The first was a trip through HDR Pro.  The Detail slider was pretty much maxed out.  The Strength and Radius sliders were brought up, with the Strength slider pushed more than the Radius.  Vibrance was cranked up to about 80% and the Saturation thrown toward its upper limit.  It was then opened into CS5.
Once in CS5 the image took a trip through CS5's HDR Toning.  Detail was shoved up again and the roles reversed for the Strength and Radius.  This time the Radius was pushed harder.  More Vibrance, more Saturation brought the image to a pretty bright state.  The Exposure and Gamma were brought down to arrive at a better tonal range (like it made any difference). 
The third bit of processing was going through individual (Red, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue, and Cyan) Hue Saturation Adjustment Layers where each color was brought up to just below the point of going neon. 
There is a lot of false colors in today's image, but I really don't have a problem with that.  The back and left side wall is actually painted white.  Plastic bags became blue.  The cabinets look like they are made of much nicer wood than the y really are.  The floor is a cement floor but appears to possibly be a dirt floor.  All in all, it was a fun image to throw caution to the wind and move sliders all over the place.  I made have to do an insert showing the cleaned garage.  We'll see.