AutoHDR or manual retouching

Started Aug 9, 2010 | Discussions thread
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markgv
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AutoHDR or manual retouching
Aug 9, 2010

I've been playing around with the fine (and free!) AutoHDR program from Martin Sykes. ( http://www.autohdr.co.uk/ ) The pics below have all been downsized, but the quality should be good enough for you to see what I'm trying to do.

The first picture is the original. The roof of the barn was so blazing white that I had to take a few pics with various EVF settings. I think this was a -1.

Using Photoshop Elements, I did quite a few adjustments with shadows, highlights, saturation, etc. and ended up with this.

This last picture was achieved using the AutoHDR program. (Note that you only need a single picture for it to work, so this actually is kind of a pseudo-HDR that is better described as local tone-mapping.) I had to run it a few times to get settings I liked that didn't make it too 'over the top,' but the program does allow for adjustments for Detail (I used 4), Str. (5), Contrast (7), Saturation (9). Here's the result.

The last one does have something of a processed look to it, but I'm wondering if others think it is superior to the second one. I like the sky and the roof and the fence, and the extra punch of brightness and color seem to fit this scene. (I wasn't able to duplicate those aspects in Elements, but someone with more skill or a better program might be able to do so...)
Thanks for comments/suggestions.

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