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By pmorgan  
Off for a couple of days with the kids for half term so I thought Id take a little bit of me time to trawl the archives.

I took these/this shot back in August 2010 at Saddle Tor whilst on Dartmoor with David Clapp.

I was quite pleased at the time, as I thought Id bagged some good stuff, and I was careful to bracket my shots to make the best of the conditions. Unfortunately my blending skills have not been up to getting the best from the images, and hdr software didnt seem to get the feel I was after either.

So I set myself a challenge to hand blend this shot, and took my time painstakingly creating layer masks and luminosity masks to gradually build up the image.

Although far from perfect, I am happy enough to post it, and it will probably end up on my site. Ive added the screenshot of all of the layers involved, and thumbnails of the three exposures used hopefully you may find this useful!


Tags: Tree Dartmoor Rock Tor Moors Blend Saddle tor Landscape and travel

Voters: NexusImages, martinjp, angej and 78 more

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angej 15 479 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2012 12:23PM
I really don't think I would have the patience or the inclination to work on a shot to this level Paul, but you have done a fine job of bringing all the detail backSmile
h4rsx 10 17 5 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2012 12:27PM
Top notch Paul, this image has a lovely feel to it and you've done a great job in bringing out the best in this. Appreciate the tutorial element. Wink
Jestertheclown 11 8.3k 253 England
13 Feb 2012 12:29PM

Quote:I really don't think I would have the patience


The result is, to me, stunning yet you consider it to be "far from perfect."
As for the effort that your screenshot shows me has gone into it, like Angela, above, I really couldn't commit myself to taking on that kind of workload "just" to render a photograph.
I take my hat off to you.

helenlinda Plus
13 366 22 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2012 12:47PM
Very informative and helpful - love the way you have brought out the colours
Philo 10 99 83 England
13 Feb 2012 1:13PM
Excellent image Paul and a great lesson in blending. This would make a great tutorial.
pmorgan 13 217 13 England
13 Feb 2012 1:17PM

Quote:This would make a great tutorial. never know! Wink

CliffGreen 8 8 2 Scotland
13 Feb 2012 1:51PM
Great result. I agree about the tutorial!
SlowSong Plus
12 9.2k 30 England
13 Feb 2012 1:54PM
Fantastic image Paul, and very interesting V2. So much better than HDR.
fraser 16 631 14 Scotland
13 Feb 2012 1:55PM
Kind of sculpted for about the landscape. I'm glad you wpent the time on it Paul..
Daisymaye Plus
12 23 18 Canada
13 Feb 2012 1:58PM
End result is stunningly beautiful. Even seeing how you did it confuses me..........Sandy
t0m 9 1 Slovakia
13 Feb 2012 2:07PM
Good work.
Short focal length and the sky produce a really dramatic effect.
BillyGoatGruff 13 191 199 England
13 Feb 2012 2:14PM
For something you not quite satisfied with it's bl**dy marvellous, Paul!
I'd be happy with this....even with luminosity masks and channel-based masks, images with this amount of fine detail are extremely difficult to achieve a successful blend, especially around trees. Good job, mate!
And it's nice to see that you use as many layers as I sometimes do! One can never have enough Wink

It's a very evocative and atmospheric capture: just how I remember Dartmoor.

Richsr 13 91 223 England
13 Feb 2012 2:15PM
Good details and tones through out the image Paul, well worked.
Regards Richard
pmorgan 13 217 13 England
13 Feb 2012 2:16PM
Cheers guys! Smile

Jasper87 Plus
10 2.5k 158 England
13 Feb 2012 2:56PM
One day.... I'll achieve enlightenment. In the meantime I can only marvel at the technical expertise and enjoy the results.

dmhuynh72 12 44 3 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2012 3:27PM
Looks like you spent a great deal of effort on this one Paul, and I don't the patience like yours. Anyway, stunning results and well worth the effort.

pmorgan 13 217 13 England
13 Feb 2012 3:30PM
I've just tried it again - reckon I could get it down to 20mins with a bit of practice! Smile

Cheers everyone!

Kevlar 14 161 3 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2012 4:12PM
Great work and dedication Paul - thanks for sharing.


Niknut Plus
10 2.7k 82 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2012 4:13PM
Superb shot !!!....beautiful quality, & gorgeous tones in that dramatic sky !!!
tigerminx 16 237 South Africa
13 Feb 2012 4:54PM
Superb result Paul. Fine image, love those clouds on the horizon.

andy_AHG 11 106 6 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2012 5:53PM
That's a lorra lorra layers Paul! The result is lovely though. The masking around the tree is the hellish part, which has worked very well. Didn't spot this as one of yours originally as there's no water Wink

zapar40 10 66 5 Wales
13 Feb 2012 5:56PM
superb image, love those clouds on the left, great to see how you have brought this out too, i give up after layer five as the computer slows down so much i get to make a cuppa while i wait, then flatten and continue.

Eviscera 14 1.1k 149 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2012 6:26PM
Blends well !
Jouo 16 56 Finland
13 Feb 2012 6:36PM
happy to make it half century, mate Smile

cdm36 16 391 7 England
13 Feb 2012 7:53PM
Thats come out rather well, and nice to see how it was achieved Smile
Philip_H 8 1.4k United Kingdom
13 Feb 2012 7:53PM
Just wonderful. Super image.
13 Feb 2012 8:29PM
Wow.... Need i say more Tongue
Stubill 12 107 England
13 Feb 2012 10:23PM
Getting the hang of the blend there, Paul Smile
Once the luminosity selections 'click', you soon learn how to grab pixels by instinct, based on the image content Wink
I usually save, then flatten for the final PP...if that helps.
Kenfromsot 12 61 United Kingdom
13 Feb 2012 10:58PM
Blimey Paul, more masks than Zorro Smile

pmorgan 13 217 13 England
13 Feb 2012 11:06PM
Cheers guys!

Special thanks to Ryan for the UA - much appreciated! Smile

CHRISB911 14 54 1
13 Feb 2012 11:33PM
superb work from The Rame Master
keithh 16 25.7k 33 Wallis And Futuna
14 Feb 2012 7:48AM
Like it - but seems a lot of work for what could have been one shot.

I'm also seeing some banding in the sky - top left to middle.
14 Feb 2012 9:37AM
A moment in time and well caught, if you forgive the central tree, which I do, because I like to break the rules now and then. The detail is super and realistic. Enjoy your time with the girls.

rob_marshall 9 96 1 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2012 2:54PM
Great shot. You said in the intro about bracketing. I've been doing that a lot recently. I set bracketing (5D Mk2) and also set auto 2sec timer, and it shoots all three automatically in a few seconds. Is that the way you do it?

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