Clouds over Kennedy Creek

This piece was more of a photographic exercise that just happened to yield an interesting painting. I use Photoshop Elements 9 (the consumer version of Photoshop). I wanted to see what it would take to create a High Dynamic Range (HDR) image with Photoshop Elements. The human eye is able to process the dynamic range of what it perceives better that digital camera sensors. As an example if you look at a scene that is somewhat backlit and focus on the the part that is backlit you are able to process is properly. When you change your focus the part of the scene that is not lit the eye is able to readjust and perceive that part properly as well. This is something that cannot be readily accomplished with a single image from a digital SLR camera.

The way this effect is recreated is to take more than one image of a scene adjusting the exposure to properly expose different parts; expose a bright sky properly in one image, expose the darker background properly (which will overexpose the sky) and so on. During post-production all the images are combined to give a single image where all parts are properly exposed.

I applied this technique to four images of Kennedy Creek. One exposed the sky properly, one exposed the background hills correctly, one exposed the middle foreground properly and one exposed the grass in the foreground properly. I combined the images to get the HDR effect. Finally, I used Painter’s autopainting techniques to apply a paint effect.