Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Love it or hate it?

I pulled over on the roadside today because I was taken with this rockwall where the cold nighttime temperatures had frozen the water dripping off the wall. The ice glistened in on-and-off hazy sunlight.



 
I turned around and saw this little stream coming down with some great frozen water in front of it. I went home and got some neutral density filters to re-shoot it. A wider shot didn't work -- too much brush and rock.


And then I looked around and saw this:


I shot 5-shot brackets and merged them to HDR in Photomatix. I did some more work in CS5, including a touch of Topaz Adjust. Initially I loved the shots and now I'm not so sure. I think they're TOO sharp and have too much detail.

What's the consensus? Would you have shot these differently? Or handled them a different way in Post?

By the way, on the last shot I used a non-destructive dodging/burning technique that I picked up somewhere recently, damned if I can remember where. But I love the technique and wrote it up in my tech blog. I searched my archives and can't find it. I'd like to attribute it but can't recall the source.