I never get tired of seeing these beautiful machines. And when I can blend an extreme HDR object like this bike with a realistic environment, it’s even better. I’m doing a very short HTDS ( How To Do Stuff) this week on a simple yet effective process for blending the real and not so real.
This street shot is from New Bern, North Carolina where the many old, shop store fronts form a radical contrast to the modern vehicles parked on the street.
For this shot, I started with nine images from -2 to +2 ev. After loading into Nik HDR Efex Pro, I worked the complete image to a truly realistic point and then used Control Points to isolate the bike and the car for a more dramatic HDR effect. I’ve never tried this before so it was a fun experiment. And as you can see, the vehicles seem to stand out as almost cartoon elements in an otherwise realistic photo.
To give you a better idea of how this contrast in tonality works, here is a blow up of the bike and how it stands out against the background.In the past, this result would take lots of work in Adobe Photoshop. But, with the Nik software and those fantastic Control Points, it’s now a very simple process.
The image below is the original uncropped, middle of the brackets image. You can see how imposing the extremely tone mapped bike onto the tonally balanced surroundings (first image) makes a big difference.