This is another HDR image from my visit to St Peters Episcopal church in Washington North Carolina. The old cemetery is really perfect for photography and is full of potentially beautiful images. I spotted this very large tree trunk next to an iron fence and immediately started framing my shot. The texture of the ivy, tree, and fence had me imagining tone mapping heaven.
There are times when HDR imaging may not really be necessary to get the full tonal and lighting range of a photograph. This shot was processed using five exposures spaced from -2 to +2 ev. I worked with control points in Nik HDR Efex Pro to do very slight enhancements to the textures in the ivy, tree and fence.
Of course, this image could really “punch and glow” with additional tone mapping and further enhancements to get a “beyond reality” look as with this example. Here the contrast was increased along with adding depth and a more defined edging on the ivy and fence. I also included a slight, dark vignette at the corners to draw more attention to the fence and ivy. This still leans more to reality but has been pushed to more of an extreme.
But, for a realistic result, just manipulating a raw image file is sometimes all that is necessary. The image below was loaded from Adobe Bridge into the Photoshop raw conversion process and adjusted for a totally realistic look. As you can see, it is almost identical to the five image HDR example above.
Equipment used: Nikon D700 with AF 50mm f/1.8 D lens set to f/5.6, ISO 800. One human body.