Follow up to Reader Vote

 Just following up on the reader vote where you cast your opinion on which processing you liked best.

Like I said, no opinion was right or wrong. It was just to see for myself what people prefer and maybe even for YOU to see what you prefer.

The two images were the same combined 7 Exposure 1 stop merge

Each were processed using a Photomatix Pro 4.1 Preset, Image A was the “Grunge” Preset in Photomatix. Image B, was my own preset that I made and use for my starting point for almost every image.

My Preset consists of the following: Detail Enhancer, Strength 70, Saturation 70, Lighting Adjustment: Natural, Gamma 1.20

In Contrast (Pun intended), The Grunge settings are: Detail Enhancer, Strength 100, Saturation 80, Luminosity 10, Detail Smoothing 10, Lighting Adjustments: Surreal, White Point 1.779%, Black Point 0.20%, Gamma .80

Or I guess we could say, as far apart as possible.

Neither one was finished with  any post processing. I wanted to see the reactions to the Presets in Photomatix alone.

The actual finished image using my Preset and then finishing  in Photoshop would have looked something more like this.












Thanks to all that participated, I found it interesting. I hope you did too.




  1. Miguel Palaviccini October 19, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    I really like your final processed image. Would you mind sharing what you did? Was it mostly dodging and burning

    • Peter October 19, 2011 at 10:03 am #

      Thanks Miguel,
      Yes, That is mostly what I did. The truth is if I had to do the image from scratch again I probably would have done more in Photomatix to get the iage right. But I just wanted to test people reactions to the presets alone.
      Here is what I did to Image B to get it to the final image: In Photoshop, I added a levels adjustment layer to bring up the overall brightness of the image. I masked that off the sky because I thought that was for the most part perfect.
      Then I dodged the water, the beach, the clouds and the rocks in certain places with my dodge tool set to Highlights and 10% and then I burned shadows into the water just to bring out a bit more detail. And that was it

  2. ken October 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    very cool.. The tell for me is in the clouds.. I remember you writing once that was a dead giveaway of a sloppy hdr.. They just do not get that black ..hahah

    • Peter October 19, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

      Yeah. The one thing that HDR programs in general just can’t get right is large areas of white, like clouds. Last week I shot a white fence, most of the image was that solid white fence. Not one HDR program could get the color of the fence right or correctly exposed. I chucked that idea

      • Ann October 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

        I agree that I would have chosen this image because B was too dark for me and lost detail. Great job, as usual!!

  3. Khiba October 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    Ah now that I see the final image, I really really like the result. My problem with the “B” HDR was the overall darkness in the rocks and water and lack of detail. But the sky was so perfect. Had I seen this vs, the “A” image I surely would have chosen this completed one. Very very nice!

  4. Duane October 19, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    Really like this final version!!

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