Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

32 Bit Lightroom Processing - First Attempt

A few posts ago, I recommended a tutorial on processing 32 bit images in Lightroom, which produces HDR type photos that tend to be halo free and more photo-realistic (I know you can make photo-realistic images with Photomatix and other HDR software, but it just seems harder to do so).  Well, I took my own advice and tried it. My first attempt was actually with an image that I didn't think would benefit much from that type of processing, but, nonetheless, I just wanted to give it a try and see.  The image was from my post of April 29th, and I have copied the original (non-32 bit) processed photo below.  This was processed from an underexposed image so as to give a more dramatic view of the sky and to silhouette the mountains.

Copyright Howard Grill

The 32 bit processed image allowed me to maintain the silhouette, but pull out detail in the midtones to darks that were not easily extracted before and certainly not without more noise.  After Lightroom 32 bit processing, the image was finished with tonal contrast applied in Nik ColorEfex and some local layer adjustments for the sky.  I also cropped a bit off the bottom for better balance. The result is below and I do believe the 32 bit processing gave a superior result:

Copyright Howard Grill

As you might expect, the differences are much more apparent in larger images!