I took two different shots of the gazebo at Antietam. One from the front and this one. Considering the light I guess I didn’t take them that far apart.
If there was a hell for photo editing this image is likely involved. I have edited this image at least 10 times. This is finally the version I settled on.
Part of the problem was the light and how the camera metered it. It did some really funky things and I minimized them as much as possible. I won’t tell you what they are but they are there. Then I had some crap that I didn’t want in the image and thought I be slick and clone stamp it out. That turned things even worse. Finally, no matter what I did HDR or not HDR is just kept looking like ass.
This edit I took a master source file and did my usual edits in Lightroom then brought it into Photoshop. I then created 2 layers. The first layers I edited it as I normally would any other file. Curves adjustment and the local work with dodge and burn. Second layer I opened in in Aurora HDR and then started in on that. I just kept playing with sliders until I was happy.
Once I had the two layers I started masking bits in here and there that I wanted. I had to contend with blown color channels, highlights, and blacks clipping. To get around it I masked in the darker “normal” layer with various opacities. Then I did some more local work with dodging and burning until I finally said no more. The last bit was a crop to get rid of the garbage I knew I could not clone stamp out. Then called it done.