Sun Over Menai Bridge

This is the Menai Bridge crossing the Menai Straight which separates the isle of Anglesey from mainland Wales. The photo was taken at around 3pm on the 12th August 2020.

I took a few exposures bearing in mind the dynamic range and options for HDR processing and other exposure compositing options.

Having used Luminar for some months, I had been contemplating an idea for developing images with very high dynamic range. I’m all about convenience when capturing images; I never use a tripod during daylight, and if capturing an exposure bracket set, I use the 11fps continuous capture facility my Sony A6000 has in auto ISO mode – hand held. I’m never totally satisfied with the image quality of HDR blended images, however. So, onto my idea ….

This image was a plus 2 EV exposure, and my idea was to allow the sky to be blown out, giving the benefit of the exposure to the shadows, and then replace the sky. I developed the RAW image with Luminar AI, replaced the sky, put the Sunrays centre exactly where the original sun was, and put the birds under the main arch.

I found the colours to be not contributing to the image, so I went monochrome with subtle split toning to the highlights and shadows.

This exposure blending/ compositing technique could also be used with a correctly exposed shot of the original sky, of course, capitalising on Luminar’s excellent sky replacement feature.

I’m relatively pleased with the results and will try this technique again when photographing a scene with a high dynamic range.

Published by Peter Finch

I have been an electrical draughtsman, a retailer and, for 12 years, a photography tutor. In 2019, I took a job as an electrical technician and closed my tuition business. Am I now photography tutor emeritus ...?

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