I'm downloading some tutorials on how to use Lightroom right now. While waiting I decided to go ahead and try playing with one of the many RAW files I have backed up here. No HDRs here, people. I ignored the Photomatix icon and opened the NEF file with Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), something like a branch of Photoshop.
Here's the original file:
This is one of the many pictures I took from the window seat of a bus during my many trips back and forth between Manila and Baguio from 2009 - 2010. In this particular shot I liked how the tops of the tall grass together in the distance looked like a white blanket. I'm not so sure what sort of metering I used here but as you can see the sky was 'murdered' with highlights. I don't think you can recover any detail by playing with levels, brightness and contrast, and curves on this JPEG equivalent.
It was a totally different experience with ACR. I simply opened the NEF file and brought the exposure down 2 stops. I was wrong to think that the 'blinkies' (highlights) were impossible to fix - the clouds popped out as I dragged the Exposure pointed to the left.
Well, that was something to remember - but I wanted to emphasize the 'white blanket' so I eventually cropped out most of the sky, as you can see in the finished picture. I thought the grass zoomed in looked a little painterly so I thought I'd post that too.
I hope to watch that Lightroom tutorial soon to see what else I've been missing.
God bless you!
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May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you His Shalom. - Numbers 6:24-26