Most people don’t usually think about using an HDR program to edit their photos. But sometimes they produce just the look you had in your minds eye with the least amount of work. The photo below is a great portrait, but I knew that there was a lot of dramatic details that I wanted emphasize.
In the case of this image I wanted to punch the details in the clothing and the background without pulling attention from the subject. I loved the green tones in the backdrop and really wanted to bring those out more. My first thought was to use Viveza, but after a few minutes of not getting the look I wanted I scratched that idea.
I then opened the image in HDR Efex Pro and quickly thumbed through the presets. The dark preset was exactly what I was looking for. I toyed with the manual controls a bit, but eventually decided that the preset nailed the look I wanted for the background and for the details in the clothing.
I think sometimes people overlook the use of an HDR program for doing edits on single images, thinking that they are only to be used on combining multiple images. But most HDR programs offer a very powerful tone controlling options. Using programs like HDR Efex Pro may not take your image to 100% complete, but it sure can assist in getting you there quicker.
After applying the effect from HDR Efex Pro I took this image back into photoshop to finish up. The following is the final image.Equipment: Nikon D700, Nikon 70-300 Post Processing: Aperture, NIK HDR Efex PRO 2, Nik Color Efex Pro, Photoshop
A special thank you shout out to Ryan Screamfest for allowing me to capture such a wonderful portrait. One of the best parts of being a photographer is having the opportunity to meet so many people and share a moment of history with them.