Haven’t posted a before/after post in a very long time, so I hope you will like this new one. I chosen one a little more complicated from the ones I took in Dubai, so let’s go :)

I took this image from the top of Burj Khalifa. This was the final image I had:
Through the glass wall

I started by taking two exposure series of 4 shots, from -2EV to +1EV. I usually take also the +2EV, but it was just not needed here, and it take a long time anyway. For the two series, once I focused manually onto the city and second time onto the glass wall in front of me. Here are the two 0EV exposures:
Original 2
Original 1

As always I started by loading all the shots into Lightroom, where I removed the lens distortion, chrome aberrations, a little noise and corrected the white balance.I also corrected the horizon line.

I then exported all the files into 16-bit Tiffs and created two HDRs with the same settings in Oloneo Photoengine. From there I got this two images:
Original 2
Oloneo 1

Then I loaded this two files, together with the original images into Photoshop and did the following edits (layers numbered from bottom up)

1. the HDR from the photos focused on the city
2. HDR created from the photos focused on the glass with a manually painted mask to blend in the top and bottom part, and most of the sky
3+4+5. 0EV focused on the city, with a saturation and brightness modifier, from with I painted in parts of the roads, that had movement in them. The saturation and brightness were needed to adjust the look to fit into the HDR.
6. -2EV focused on the city to darken few bright spots
7. just a merged copy which I needed to be able to use Color Efex pro
8. Color Efex Pro contrast filter, but used a mask to remove it from few bright areas where it overexposed them too much.
9. Color Efex Glamour glow filter. I use this one when the photo has too many sharp details, and I want to soften them a little.
10. Added contrast to the whole image using curves
11. De-saturated magenta colors on a part of the image, where it was too distracting.
12. More contrast to the middle part
13. Played a little with the brightness
14. And once more a little more contrast to the whole image
15. Corrected the overall colors of the image, made it more cooler and greener.


And that’s all I did with this image. To find out more on how I edit, check out the guides and before after categories on this blog, or check out my video tutorial series here:

For today’s process post, I chosen this shot, just taken one sleepless night from the balcony of my flat :)


So lets take a look at it :) I started by taking 84 exposures for the star trails. That all looked like this:

That I first loaded into Lightroom, where I corrected the lens distortion, vignetting and white balance.

Then I exported them and loaded all into layers in Photoshop, that I set to Lighten mode to get this:

Then I followed with these edits (layers numbered from bottom up)
1. The combined image from all 84 exposures
2. Recovered the buildings from one of the exposures (I didn’t liked the lights the merging created)
3. Color Efex pro contrast on the sky to add more contrast and detail to it.
4. Added more contrast to the sky
5. Removed noise from the buildings
6. Added detail using High pass filter
7. Color balance to cool down the buildings
8. Added more contrast overall
9. Merged layer with few passing planes removed from the sky
10+11. Added glow to the photo


And that’s all :)

To continue with my process series, as every Tuesday, here is another process post. This time its a manual blend of a photo from Maribor, Slovenia. So lets look at it.

To get to this finished result
Under the bridge
I started as always in Lightroom. As you can see from the photo, I had to correct mostly the white balance and the horizon line.
Under the bridge - original
After that I created a Oloneo HDR version of this photo and imported it into Photoshop together with the original exposures. Then I continued as follows (layers numbered from bottom up)
1. -1EV exposure to start with
2. 0Ev to brighten the bridge and the water
3. +1EV to brighten the bridge even more
4. Oloneo HDR result used to brighten the overall image
5. Color Efex pro contrast to add more local detail to the photo
6. High pass filter to add more detail
7+8. Added glow to the photo
9. Recovered parts of the city, as they lost too much contrast in previous edits
10. Brightened the extreme dark parts of the photo
11. Brightened few parts of the bridge from +2EV exposure
12. Added a little of Color Efex glamour glow

And that was all.
Under the bridge - process

Continuing with the Tuesday tradition, today I have for you another process post, showing how I edited a photos. Today I chosen a recent blue hour from Bratislava. The edits here make only small changes, as I quite liked the photo to begin with :). So lets start.

To get to this result:

Quiet blue hour

I started with this photo (this is a -2EV exposure, the 0EV was just too overexposed to be used as start)


I corrected the horizon and exported the -2EV and -1EV to Photoshop, as I knew that I didn’t need the other ones. I also created a -3EV exposure by underexposing the -2EV one and also loaded that into Photoshop. I then (layers numbered from bottom up):

1. -2EV exposures
2. The created -3EV exposure to darken the castle
3. -1EV exposure to brighten the water and foreground
4. Color Efex pro contrast to add more local contrast to the photo
5. A cleanup layers, as I had to remove few dust spots
6. Curves to darken the castle even more
7. Linear contrast for the whole image
8. Added more contrast to the Basic Midtones
9. Brightened the darkest areas of the photo
10. Color efex Detail extractor on the buildings to give them more detail
11. Color balance to remove the purple color cast on the photo
12. A little more contrast
13. Color balance to make the photo more warm

And that’s all :)


And we have here another Tuesday, so another process post. For today I chose this photo of the Apollo bridge I took last month. So lets get to it.

For this photo:
Soft color of the cold evening
I took 5 exposures. Here you can see the middle one:

I then loaded all into Lightroom, where I corrected the horizon line and removed chromatic aberrations and lens distortions.
Then I exported the images as 16bit Tiff files and loaded them into Oloneo Photoengine. I changed only the Strength and Contrast, to get to the result I wanted there.
After that I loaded all the original files and the Photoengine result and did the following edits (layers numbered from bottom up):
1. Oloneo Photoengine result
2. -2EV exposure, to darken few of the bright spots there were still in the photo
3. +1EV to add the highlights on the stones
4. Color efext Pro contrast to brighten and add more contrast to the photo. I then used a layer mask to remove it from the brightest spots.
5. Medium contrast painted only onto the water
6. Linear contrast to the whole image.

And that’s all I did.

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