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gyaban


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Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: HDR IV (Advanced Editing VII)
Collection: Portfolio
Camera: Canon EOS-5D Mark II
Lens: Canon TS-E 17mm f/4.0L MF
Date: Nov 20, 2011
Aperture: f/18
ISO: 100
Galleries: Nature, High Dynamic Range (HDR)
Date Uploaded: Nov 20, 2011

As many of you guessed, I went back to my very favorite tree. After my recent new PB in the Poe challenge, it got kicked out of my top 5, which made me a bit sad. So I gave it my best to try and get it back there, but it didn't work unfortunately.

So, I left home early in the morning, for the same 5 hours trip than before. Obviously, it was much quicker to find the tree this time. When I arrived there, I was immediately overwhelmed by the light and colors: I instantly knew how I wanted the final photo to look. Of course, the image is not depicting how it really looked like, but it is very accurate to my own vision of it, my remembered feelings. I am quite happy about the result I must say.

Technically, I took 3 bracketed photos (0, -2EV, +2EV). Processing the picture was quite complex:
- The background comes from the +2EV photo exclusively
- The foreground, trunk and branches comes from a first tonemapped HDR
- The leaves come from another tonemapped HDR, with different settings (higher exposure, more saturation).
Then I blended everything together manually (yes, masking the leaves was a nightmare). I also spent much time finalizing the mood and tones, until I reached what I had in mind. The result is exactly what I remember of that day: dazzling light, incredible gold-orange colors, and of course, the dark majesty himself, bathing in the sun.

While the photo isn't of course original, I still wanted to do it again, to capture it in a different mood. I strongly disagree with the persons who voted very low because of that. Doing the same thing several times is a good way to get better at it: voting low for that reason is like telling someone "you shouldn't try to improve".

As for my photo, I did try several other angles, but I preferred that view again. I think I like this photo even more than the spring version. Also, expect to see it one more time if snow reaches the area one of these days.

Thank you all very much for the fantastic comments and votes. I am very grateful, and happy I was able to share my joy of going there.

Larger version.

See it also on 1X.

Statistics
Place: 1 out of 98
Avg (all users): 7.7296
Avg (commenters): 8.1290
Avg (participants): 7.0333
Avg (non-participants): 8.1515
Views since voting: 7721
Views during voting: 560
Votes: 159
Comments: 81
Favorites: 50 (view)


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AuthorThread
03/27/2012 04:29:43 PM
Thanks for the reply, I get that its a starting step. My specific issue is with noise. Even at 100 ISO, i end up introducing more noise with my raw stuff for some reason. i got to look into it i suppose - thanks for the input!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/23/2012 11:57:57 AM
Originally posted by Devinder:

I notice you mentioned you HDR'ed the three raws directly and this looks better than what i can muster. Do you think this could come from the difference in programs (Photomatix vs HDR Efex Pro) or is there a secret sauce i m missing?


Thank you for your comment. I don't think the tool you use is that important at all, I'm quite confident saying Photomatix could have been used there (as long as one knows it well enough). Moreover, to my knowledge, these tools do not work directly on RAWs anyway, at best they import 16 bits images out of them and start to work from there (TIFF usually). What is important to know about the processing of that particular image, is the fact the tonemapped HDR resulting image was merely the beginning, not the final result in any case. I simply used the HDR plugin to obtain crispy texture and details on the trunk and foreground, but there are like 30 other processing layers above it, in order to reach this result. In fact, I just used the HDR tool to enhance the dynamic range of my camera, not at all to create some kind of special effect, that was not my point.
03/23/2012 10:54:14 AM
Very nice picture.I can't imagine the time the individual leaves might have took.

I find it cleaner to make HDRs of jpegs. I notice you mentioned you HDR'ed the three raws directly and this looks better than what i can muster. Do you think this could come from the difference in programs (Photomatix vs HDR Efex Pro) or is there a secret sauce i m missing?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/03/2011 02:54:11 PM
Originally posted by terryduck:

I hope you don't mind, I'm using this picture as my background now, because it is so beautiful.


Not the least, I'm extremely happy and proud when my pictures are appreciated. On my Flickr page, you can download the 1500x1000px version.
12/03/2011 12:42:12 PM
I hope you don't mind, I'm using this picture as my background now, because it is so beautiful.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/01/2011 05:38:17 PM
A true work of ART Congrats on you Blue!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/30/2011 09:53:25 PM
thank you for making HDR look awesome.

and that has to be the coolest tree in the world!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/30/2011 08:44:53 PM
Really couldn't be more perfect, truly a stunning image. I'm always at awe with your patience in editing. Congrats on the great score and the ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/30/2011 03:09:15 PM
Originally posted by jesusfreak864ever:

I would love if you could set up a tutorial on how you did this. I just think this photo is fantastic and would love to learn how to do some really nice HDR


Thanks, glad you liked it!
The main editing steps are described under the photo. I'm afraid more details would not be very useful (like values and parameters for each step), because they are very specific to the photo and to what you want to achieve. The main HDR itself was done in a very classical way: 3 RAWs, HDR Efex Pro, some quick adjustments and that's it. Done in 3 minutes (really!). However, tone-mapping the HDR was merely the beginning, and the result is all about many local tweaks (more saturation here, more light there, more detail in the darks here, change the color of that, etc.). This is what took the longest by a large margin (editing-wise). Feel free to PM me if you want specific information.
11/30/2011 02:59:03 PM
I would love if you could set up a tutorial on how you did this. I just think this photo is fantastic and would love to learn how to do some really nice HDR
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/30/2011 11:25:43 AM
Originally posted by karaleigh:

Do you sell your images? I just saw this on my weekly email, went to it and my husband wants it for his wall.
Thanks in advance, this is stunning!


Sure, I'll PM you with the different options for that. Thank you!
11/30/2011 10:23:32 AM
Do you sell your images? I just saw this on my weekly email, went to it and my husband wants it for his wall.
Thanks in advance, this is stunning!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/30/2011 06:03:39 AM
What a beautiful shot. I so admire your tenacity and dedication, knowing how far you have to drive to get to this tree! Great to have a photographer like you participating in these challenges and raising the bar for us mere mortals.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/29/2011 11:24:22 PM
Gorgeous work as always, Christophe! Grats on the blue.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/29/2011 08:28:01 AM
Lovely work Christophe
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 11:34:14 PM
Thank you for making HDR feel like a worthwhile effort again. This is a photo I'll love for years to come.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 10:48:30 PM
congrats on blue... and thanks for showing this great tree. looking forward in snow.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 06:47:33 PM
Hi Christophe
I like the creative "HDR" concept you used for the background. Instead of "fixing" the overexposure you have exaggerated it by using a +2EV shot.
You may be right in regards to score being affected by subject repetition. That was my case, but I still gave it a 7 :-)

Message edited by author 2011-11-28 18:48:26.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 04:44:22 PM
Congrats, Christophe! This is lovely.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 02:00:42 PM
Congrats on your Ribbon. I have to say I admire your dedication and talent, and I agree with you about improvement. I'll be looking forward to see your take on this one, again during winter.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 11:27:32 AM
I like this one just as much as the other one. I hope you do it again in the winter...and even the summer. This is a magical place and you capture that magic so well. Congrats!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 09:22:01 AM
I think you have conclusively shown this tree, from this angle, tone-mapped and blended, scores 7.7476, +/- 0.018, which is pretty fascinating, really! Will be interesting to see how it scores when it snows.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 09:03:16 AM
Congrats. This needs to be HUGE on a canvas!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 08:28:03 AM
this is so beautiful!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 08:16:23 AM
Congrats,beautiful image,wonderful work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 06:57:45 AM
Congrats once again,a super image no doubt.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 06:25:20 AM
Congrats on the excellent shot and ribbon. Your processing skills and attention to every detail are amazing. When I posted your Calendar entry to the Tree thread I had not yet voted the HDR challenge, so I had no idea you had reshot it for this challenge. I posted it because it was one of the most memorable pictures of a tree I had ever seen. I can add this to that group.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 03:08:17 AM
Originally posted by J-Me:

Ribbon Hog! Give the rest of us a chance, huh? Can't you "dumb yourself down" just a bit so that we stand a chance against you sometimes? LOL

Seriously, though...congrats. Nice shot.


Well he did omit the starburst, but that only knocked about 0.04 points off.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 02:46:59 AM
I love the difference between the foreground and background. Great idea splitting the two up and doing different processing for each.
To me this is great use of HDR. Not overly heavy or obvious*, and mastering light.
Well done!

* it's obviously processed, but not 'classic' HDR to me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 02:16:55 AM
Enter the same image for trees, guarantee to win another ribbon :)

Congrats :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 01:44:32 AM
When I saw this I thought somebody went out and copied you since I did not think you would use the same tree and the same comp twice. It remains a great shot and congrats on your Blue with this image. Same recipy, different flavours
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 01:15:30 AM
Congratulations, you thoroughly deserve the blue. Man, I love your work because you put so much effort into each shot and we here at DPC have to thank you for sharing it with us.
NB: There is the botany and tree challenges, hope you used your time well! lol

Message edited by author 2011-11-28 01:18:22.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 12:53:56 AM
Suberb image! Congratulations!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 12:22:02 AM
stunning and Congratulations
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 12:19:18 AM
Great job Christophe! Top notch use of HDR for a natural effect. Congrats on the blue!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 12:16:57 AM
Well it didn't put this wonderful tree back on your page Christophe, but it's still a great image and got you another blue- congratulations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 12:14:41 AM
Ribbon Hog! Give the rest of us a chance, huh? Can't you "dumb yourself down" just a bit so that we stand a chance against you sometimes? LOL

Seriously, though...congrats. Nice shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/28/2011 12:09:49 AM
Congrats, Christophe!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
11/27/2011 11:23:15 PM
No question that this is "Ponthus' beech". Too bad the tree challenge only came out now..
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2011 08:37:33 PM
There's that beautiful tree again... I hope this does well for you. It's beautiful.8

Now that it's been posted in the Trees thread, I'm hoping that your score doesn't drop. *sigh*
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2011 07:30:06 PM
I think I've seen this tree before :) Still a great shot so you get a nice score from me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2011 04:28:08 PM
Ponthus' Beech- a previous blue ribbon winner, presumably Cristophe. For what its worth I like this one better.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/27/2011 12:15:01 PM
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_956585.jpg plagiarism
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/26/2011 11:18:15 PM
Your magnificent tree. Would have been even better in the trees challenge!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/26/2011 06:57:16 PM
hmmm... repeat
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/24/2011 05:07:49 AM
Beautiful photo, great angle and lighting
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/23/2011 04:45:13 PM
awesome!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/23/2011 02:13:36 PM
Such a majestic tree. Seems almost magical.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/23/2011 08:42:58 AM
Great use of HDR! I have the feeling the HDR actually contributes to the message you want to convey instead of it being a fancy trick to make a picture more interesting. Well done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/23/2011 07:59:06 AM
Perfect composition, excellent colours and detail.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/23/2011 04:40:31 AM
wonderful detail, but the light is a bit harsh (it was more pleasant in April, if I may guess, Cristophe?)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/23/2011 01:08:02 AM
.
11/23/2011 12:59:36 AM
Lovely work a 10 from me
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/22/2011 12:32:06 PM
Best one - well done - 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/22/2011 10:39:17 AM
Is this Lothlorien? Love the perspective, fantastic work, good luck.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/22/2011 06:55:41 AM
While this is a truly fantastic image (easily one of my favourites) I find it a shame that you've entered what is essentially the same image as that of a previous entry:
56585
Only circumstantially (as far as when challenges appear at least) at a different time of year. While originality is hard to judge most of the time in the hundreds of photo's that appear on this site I do believe it to be very important for the challenges and my voting (where it can) reflects this. There's no denying you have some of the most creative (and appealing) photographs on this site, however unfortunately this isn't one of them and so I must give this image (that would have otherwise been a 9) a 7.

I hope you consider this fair, 7's still a ribbon winning score after all =).
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/22/2011 06:55:16 AM
Gyaban's return to the Enchanted Forest? :)

Even if I don't like very much using the same places in similar ways I must say that this one is better than the other - wonderful! I predict another ribbon ;-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/22/2011 12:22:21 AM
Brocéliande forest, Bretagne
An all encompassing place.
This fantastic tree did not change much since spring. And a good thing too.
Great thing is to plop one's easel/tripod every month in the same spot.
Something is odd with the processing though. Are you adding little leaves in photoshop? Looks as if it has tiny gold coins attached to the branches.
Am wondering what the unprocessed shot looks like.
Worth the 5 hour drive.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 11:40:15 PM
wow
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 11:31:01 PM
Super job
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 11:16:27 PM
Love it ++
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 09:28:46 PM
Like the very low POV. Like the verticals of the background. Nicely processed to see the details on the shadow side.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 04:40:06 PM
Simply Great
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 03:42:33 PM
Weirdly awesome! I've come back again and again, my first impression was arghh too bright, BUT now that I've studied this, I love it, the composition is stunning! The actual light enhances the imange and the hazy glow makes it very moody! Lesson Never vote on your first impression! LOL
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 02:10:47 PM
I love the perspective. Great focus on the foreground with just enough of the background trees. Beautiful shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 01:31:56 PM
& april
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 12:55:00 PM
This has to be Gyaban's signature tree! love everything about this photograph, HDR is used in the best possible way!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 12:15:42 PM
the 74th picture opens on my screen and it is a terrific image with HDR applied with care and picture shot with beautiful light. My favourite to win.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 11:39:22 AM
Looks very like a shot from Gyaban previously.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 11:17:07 AM
Beautiful editing. Think I like this even more than April.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 10:23:31 AM
have you done all the other months inbetween april and november? You should definitely do a calendar. lovely, as always.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 10:19:49 AM
10 - absolutely beautiful
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 10:13:18 AM
Oh wow. That is golden!!!! Fantastic.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 09:34:35 AM
Great drama and perspective. Love the sunstar. Good use of HDR blending. Wonderful color in the leaves. Normally, the leaves would be total silhouette with no color in a shot against the sun. I'm impressed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 09:31:40 AM
WOW love this one!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 08:03:34 AM
Know I've seen this image before, 21.gif gyaban?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 07:55:30 AM
gyaban favourite tree?? :) nice (edit for miss spelling name) 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 07:51:01 AM
Made me catch my breath upon seeing this gorgeous light and POV.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 06:45:17 AM
Woohoo, love it!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 06:09:46 AM
Very pleasant, non over the top use of the dynamic range.
Autumn indeed :)

(Non voter)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/21/2011 12:23:47 AM
Nice to see this tree a bit later in the season, Christophe. The leaves are pleasing, looking far more like a painting than a photo. I like the effect, though others may surely disagree. The placement of the sun is also very nice. A very pleasing shot (not voting).
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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