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Another zoo shot – this lion was resting in deep shade, just beyond the bright sunlit ground and rock on the right side.   I didn’t think to try a handheld  bracketed set of exposures.  (I wasn’t lugging a tripod around the zoo.)   Using the original RAW file, I created two copies using Lightroom, one underexposed at -2 and one overexposed at +2.  I combined these in Photomatix and thought it came out pretty well.  Further localized exposure tweaks were done after re-importing the Photomatix version back into Lightroom.    Between the capabilities of the new camera sensors and software like Lightroom and Photomatix, it’s pretty amazing about what can be accomplished in very difficult lighting.

5 responses

  1. Ken Bello

    I would never guess this was two exposures! You captured detail in the shadows and highlights and it looks very natural. I love the big cats and this one looks pretty regal.
    I don’t have Photomatix, but it seem pretty popular so I suppose I should give it a try. When I see results like this I have to give it serious thought.

    May 12, 2011 at 1:26 pm

  2. Thanks Ken. I tried to crop in order to get the lion a little less dead center, but I blew it in the field. I forgot to mention that this was shot through dirty glass (at the exhibit) and I did not expect to get anything useful. I should have been taken a little more care in the original composition.

    May 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm

  3. joaoacioli

    Hi, nice pic and pretty informative text! Like Ken said, it looks pretty natural though the lighting seems a little odd on the lion’s face, maybe it seems a little too bright. Might just be the original lighting anyways.

    Now I’m quite new to this, hence the question: how much do softwares like Lightroom and Photomatrix cost?

    May 12, 2011 at 4:18 pm

  4. Thanks. Out of curiosity I did go back and look at the original. That lions face and mane area were noticably a lighter color than the rest of his body. It appears that the Photomatix conversion actually amplified this a little.

    As for Lightroom…Lightroom 3 looks to be running about $250 online, unless you have a previous version then the upgrade is about $100.

    Photomatix Pro is around $100. I think they still allow you to download a test version of this. It will stamp “Photomatix” all over your HDR images, but is a good way to try it out to see if you like it.

    May 12, 2011 at 7:40 pm

  5. joaoacioli

    Ok, thanks for the info!

    May 18, 2011 at 7:14 am

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