Late afternoon and early evening seem to be the best times for the gigantic clouds reflecting on the river. These shots were again taken with my Nikon D100 but I switched to a 19-35mm wide angle zoom lens to capture the foreground and broad expanse of sky.
The first shot, above, was produced using 7 exposures spaced 3 above and 3 below normal at 1/2 ev intervals. I created a custom preset in HDR Efex Pro to handle the complete view to equalize the lighting between the water and sky and cover the broad High Dynamic Range of the scene. I added some drama to the sky to get the “just beyond reality” effect without too much of a surreal result. I didn’t want to negate the very narrow sliver of blue sky just above the buildings on the right side of the frame. The very subtle rays from the sunlight were not visible in the normally exposed shot but add a nice touch after structure was added to the clouds. I was very happy with the end result in Efex Pro so I chose not to do anything else in Photoshop.
The second example of the same scene seen below , was also manipulated exclusively in HDR Efex Pro. Six exposures were used to create this dramatic sunset. I started with the #00 preset and modified as follows:
- Exposure at -.33 ev
- Conrast at 2%
- Saturation at 0%
- Structure at 26%
- Blacks at 16%
- White at 0%
- Warmth at 15%
HDR Method is Halo Reduction set at 26% and a small slide of the Curves from the right to add more intense highlights.