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The Arcanum comes to Lakes Beach

Follow The Rocks

This was another early morning, sun stalking adventure on the east side of the island.
I was really captivated by how the light was playing on the wet rocks and sand.

It was four months since I got my first camera and I still wasn't sure what all the knobs and dials did.
This was shot at f/22.
If I took it now, I would have probably opened up the aperture a couple stops.

I shot bracketed and tried using some plugins for the first time.  I had a lot of fun slamming the faders.

Here's the original HDR.

lakes beach barbados original HDR

Two weeks ago I got accepted into Trey Ratcliff’s new old school apprenticeship program, The Arcanum.

I love the concept and I’ll write a post on this a little later.

One of the videos I watched was  “Lightroom HDR without plugins” by Doug Kaye.
A cool concept. I decided to try it on this shot.

Here's what I did.

1/ Opened the RAW in LR, pushed my highlights to -100, shadows +100 and vibrance to +24 (the settings will vary depending on your image) the idea at this stage is not to finish the image, but just to control the dynamic range. I got back some of the detail in the high lights.

2/ Exported as a TIF file.

lakes beach barbados 1st process

3/ Opened the TIF in LR and processed normally as if it were the RAW file, adding colour, contrast and sharpening as needed. This also allowed me to bring down the highlights some more.

lakes beach barbados 2nd process

Overall this worked OK but I was using a 12MP image from my Rebel t3i and the sun was really cooking. I ended up with a blownout sun. I have to try this again with the 36MP files from my Sony a7r. I suspect it will be able to take a bit more digital crunching.

This was the last step from the video, but I added a few more tweaks to it.

I used luminosity masks to select the highlights and painted in some colour and details from a darker exposure. I also used the LM to select the midtones and apply a curves layer in PS, to help add some contrast.

lakes beach barbados final

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