Rate my rusty photochopping skills

Started Aug 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Joe0Bloggs
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Rate my rusty photochopping skills
Aug 25, 2013

Firstly, the download link for the raw file

http://www.mediafire.com/download/ayacc64asuf7d58/P8230719.ORF

A comparison of the out of camera jpeg and my effort at retouching

Camera jpeg

My take

The steps I took using Photoshop CS5:

0. Vacation snap with slow sync fill flash.1. Exported two exposures, one high, one low to capture the whole exposure range of the raw file
2. Blended the two exposures by halving each layer's output level and setting the upper layer's blending mode to linear dodge (add).
3. Dodged the girl's face to make it brighter and used healing brush to remove some flash reflections.
4. My old HDR toning script to make the scenery pop
5. A simple DIY saturation masking script to make colours pop without much clipping

Those were the steps I took... now would you say that the result is underwhelming compared to the effort taken?  Would I be able to achieve much the same result in a few clicks in Camera Raw CS6?

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