Walking toward the Capitol on Constitution Avenue in Washington DC, I grabbed this High Dynamic Range shot of the Mellon Auditorium using a monopod for 5 exposures. Even though the shots were not perfectly lined up, I and HDR Efex Pro managed to get a fairly sharp final image.
This capture was loaded into Efex Pro for very minor modifications. I added Structure to the stonework using a control point set for the light areas. In Adobe Photoshop, I worked with levels to get just the right amount of contrast without blowing out the lights (ha ha) or losing the shadow details.There was a very slight glow on the gold points of the gating which I eliminated using the Clone tool. . .very delicate work, not perfect, but effective. The perspective was slightly off, so I used Free Transform to pull the upper left side out just a bit. It actually gave the image a slight 3D look.
I used the double pass for sharpening that I found at Win Reyns Fine Art Photography site. It’s a nice way to add sharpening and then back it off “to taste” to eliminate any overly harsh results. I find that it works for me on about 50% of my web bound images. Please click on the link above for the complete article.
The first step is to increase the size of the image by about 25% using Image > Image Size. I say “about” because sometimes more or less is better depending on the shot. Using Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask, I set Amount at 300%, Radius to 0.5 and Threshold to 0. The second pass is set to 200%, 0.6 and 0 respectively. Then using Edit > Fade Unsharp Mask, I set Mode to Luminosity and vary the Opacity from 10% to 50% depending on the subject and amount of sharpening needed. I used 30% opacity for this image. Now, reduce the image back to the original size.
I have found that even slight perspective correction, as with this image, along with final sharpening, will greatly improve the final result.