While in Jacksonville Florida, I had a chance to spend a day at the beach. This shot was taken at Little Talbot Island State Park. A stiff breeze caused lots of problems with multiple exposures for HDR photos. I hoped that HDR Efex Pro could handle it and it did a pretty good job.
This sand dune shot was taken at about mid day which explains the lack of any dramatic shadows. But the texture of the sand, the crushed shells and the bright sunshine made for a nice but challenging opportunity. Seven exposures gave me a very good tonal range to work with. I used the #00 default preset in Efex Pro with very slight modifications. I set HDR Method to Natural at 71 percent and worked with curves to eliminate the dramatic contrast.
After loading the image into Adobe Photoshop, I used High Pass filter set at 1.5 to add overall sharpening and then used noise reduction on the sky to eliminate some noise caused by the sharpening. Finally, I worked the Hue/Saturation to get just the right amount of blue in the sky to give the image the “Just Beyond Reality” look without exaggerating the realism that I was going for.