a8 April 2012

Cascais and Soft Light blending mode

I took this photo in Cascais, near Lisbon. I used 3 RAWs and post-processed it in Photomatix Pro 4.2 beta.

Street photos are amongst my favourite HDR photos (the others being landscape and sunsets, castles , churches and black & white HDR photos). I really like how HDR adds some extra detail to this already busy and detailed images.

In this photo, as in many others, I used my favourite post-processing technique. It's very simple yet very effective. Here is the summary:
  1. Open your photo in Photoshop and apply some basic adjustments.
  2. Add Black & White adjustments layer on top of your layers and adjust it so it looks good.
  3. Change blending mode of this new adjustment layer to Soft Light.
  4. At this stage the contrast of the image will be greatly enhanced. However, you will loose quite a lot of detail (especially in the shadows). So using soft black brush (with flow ranging 10% to 20%) I paint on Layer Mask to restore some detail.
Normally I also decrease opacity of Black & White adjustments layer to make the effect more subtle.

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