Time for another before/after comparison + some post processing details. This time a sunset photographed in Warsaw. BTW I would be very interested if you prefer these workflow details in form of a video (like this one) or in a form of a short article like the one you're currently reading?
I took 7 exposures at 1 EV spacing, merged them to HDR and tone-mapped in Photomatix Pro (which is Before). Then I edited my image with luminosity masks technique in Photoshop CC (After). As you can see the difference between output from Photomatix Pro and final result isn't huge this time. I mainly increased contrast and slightly increased saturation.
In the image below you can see what layers I used to create final image. Starting from bottom they are:
- Background - image produced by Photomatix Pro.
- Midtones contrast - I increased midtones contrast using Curves adjustments layers.
- Highlights contrast - added contrast to highlights in sky and grass
- Shadows contrast - added some contrast to darkest parts of the image and slightly brightened them up (I used Screen blending mode to get brightening effect)
- Highlights saturation - added some extra saturation to sky and clouds, especially to the yellows just above the horizon.
- Shadows saturation - added a bit of saturation to darkest parts of the image, especially purples and pinks (eg. roof of the building in foreground).
- Sharpening - added some sharpening.
Finally some EXIF and other technical specs:
Camera: Canon 5D MK III
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 105 mm
Exposure time: 1/125 s ("middle" exposure)
Number of exposures: 7
E.V. Step: 1
Flash used: no
Technique: HDR, tone-mapping, luminosity masks
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 4.2.7 (Details Enhancer), Lightroom 5.0, Photoshop CC