Disappointed By Lose of DetailRecently, I was playing with long exposure shots on a rocky beach near where I live. One of the photos had great potential but it was dark and the darker areas had no detail in them at all. I liked the photo but it really lacked detail and it really had no vibrancy. I decide to have a play with it.
There was a load of detail captured in every shot that just needs to be enhanced. This is the process I used to recover the lost detail in the dark areas of this photo using a piece of software called Intensify Pro.
After opening the RAW image in Intensify Pro I adjusted the Exposure, Contrast and Shadows on layer 0 in the Basic Tune area. I lifted the shadows quite a bit at this stage.
|Basic Adjustments on Layer 0|
I then added a new layer and created a mask on the areas I wanted to work on in more detail.
|Mask on New Layer|
On this mask I've increased the Exposure, warmed it up a little with Temperature Adjustment, Increased the Vibrance and I've increased the Pro Contrast Adjustment in the Shadows.
|Adjustments to the Mask Layer|
I then wanted to created a bit of mood so I added a Gradient Mask to the sky area, on a new layer.
I made a few adjustments to the Exposure, Vibrance, Pro Contrast (Highlights and Mid Tones) as well as Structure (Global Midtones)
|Sky Gradient Adjustments|
Up until now I have been making manual adjustments but Intensify Pro has a lot of really good Presets and at this point I applied one of my favorites called Pro Quality to a new Layer. This just sharpens the image and adds a little depth.
|Pro Contrast Preset|
Just for fun I added another Layer with a Mask on the sky and made some adjustments to the Pro Contrast area.
|Some Tweaks to the Sky|
From here I exported the image to SnapHeal, which is another app/add-on to Intensify Pro to straighten up the horizon and to deal to a few hot pixels. Hot pixels can show up with long exposure shots.
This is the final result.
|The Final Result|
You can see the photo has been transformed and it only took me about 20 minutes using Intensify Pro. One of the things I really like about this software is you can adjust the opacity of each layer independently. On this photo I decided to lessen the effect on the rocks mask so I decreased the Opacity of Layer 1 to 43%.
I've pushed this image pretty hard to demonstrate my point but how much or how little adjustment you make are entirely up to you and the look you're trying to achieve.
|Layer 1 Opacity|
I really like Intensify Pro, it is very easy to use and it can make an enormous difference to your photos, it can be run both as a standalone app or as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Photoshop Elements and Apple Aperture.
Form more information and a free 14 day free trial click here
John Barrow - E-Star TV