Monday, July 12, 2010

Independence Square Kiev (HDR)

Ah yes, Independence Square, Kiev. A central focal point of the 2004 Orange Revolution that bought Viktor Yushchenko to power. Well, good old Viktor Y has come and gone, to be replaced by another Viktor Y, Viktor Yanukovich.

Wait! Is this the same Viktor Yanukovich who won…er…lost the 2004 election? Why yes, yes it is. Much was expected from the first Viktor Y, but little came of it. He was often viewed certainly as more democratic than most politicians in this part of the world, but a great deal less effective, which led to less popular, which led to the lowest approval rating any major politician has ever garnered, a measly 2.7% approval. People voted out democratic and ineffective, opting instead for authoritarian and, it is hoped, more effective. Wait! What happened to democratic AND effective? Oh. That wasn't a choice? Oh well.

Photo taken May 2, 2010, during the extended Labor Day (May Day) holiday. I caught this shortly before the square got real busy!

Processing Notes:

This photo is a HDR created from one original photo. This is the original photo.
Independence Square before

I created two duplicates of this photo in Lightroom, setting one photo at the original exposure, one at -1 stop, and one at +2 stops. Why +2? Intuition. It just seemed right.
Created the HDR using Photomatix. I played with the settings a bit, but in the end used the settings that Photomatix had selected.

In the original photo (above), you can see that the buildings on the left and the right are tilting slightly inwards. Corrected this using the lens correction feature (Filter > Distort > Lens Correction) in Photoshop. Setting, -10 Vertical Perspective.

Since this left empty space on the right, the left, and the bottom, used the Photoshop crop tool to return the photo to a rectangular format.

From within Photoshop, I used Topaz Adjust (sold separately) (Filter > Topaz Adjust 4 > Recovery - Highlight preset) to add what I felt to be a more pleasing effect. Then, back in Photoshop, I did a fade on the Topaz effect (Edit > Fade Topaz Adjust 4). Moved the slider from 100% to 40%.

That's all Folks!

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