I've recently undertaken, at the request of a couple of clients, to create new images of downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul. This is a particularly good time of the year to shoot large landscapes because the days are long and the sky provides for interesting and beautiful backdrops.
The first image was shot at twilight. It was created from a series of 9 separate images combined using several specific tools. The camera was mounted to a Bogen panoramic head. Three separate exposures were taken at each position. In post production, the lower half of the image (I-94) was cropped out of the image. Each set of three was processed through Photomatix Pro to create an HDR (high dynamic range) image. The three images were stitched together using Realviz Stitcher Unlimited. The resulting image was tweaked to an exact 3:1 ratio and refined using Nik Color Efex Pro to provide just a hair more contrast and tone.
Because of the way the image was taken, the native file is more than 300 mg making it suitable to be printed to extremely large sizes.
The following three images, all the same but processed differently, were taken on an evening when I had hoped for sweet spectrum colored clouds in the evening sky. As the evening progressed, however, the clouds thickened so I adjusted my perception of the scene.
This image was shot with a 24mm Tilt/Shift perspective correcting lens. Approximately five images, taken at different exposures, were merged in Photomatix Pro. I shifted the sliders in Photomatix to dramatize the colors and exposure of the image. The image was cropped pretty tightly to remove the highway foreground from the scene and each one was processed differently using either Nik Color Efex Pro or OnOne Photo Tools.
The first image was pretty much unprocessed after running it through Photomatix. The second was put through an Infrared filter to simulate an infrared image. The opacity of the effect was ramped back to provide a hint of color in the clouds and some of the highlights of the rest of the scene. The third image was converted to black and white using a "wow" setting that adds some brightness to the highlights.
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