Quick Trestle Redo

A comment from oneowner had me detouring from wasting time with one thing to wasting time with another. Specifically — as the title of the post implies — processing a few old photos using current tools. In this case, photos of a train trestle originally snapped in 2012 and featured in this week’s SmugMug Appreciation post.

The above is an HDR rendering from three photos using Aurora HDR 2019, which is still my go-to program for merging bracketed photos, and then tweaked in Luminar AI.

Now, you might not like that particular ‘look’, and I’m there with you. It doesn’t look natural, but the problem is that all three photos were overexposed, and Aurora is doing some heavy lifting to get something useful out of them.

As is often the case when color photos are for crap, you can salvage them by converting them to monochrome. Or so I imagine.

Here are two versions of the above photo output from DxO’s Silver Efex Pro.

They might look similar, but there are subtle differences in the processing . . . I go back and forth, but at the time of this writing, I’m more partial to the first.

Another way to salvage the photo might be to go back to Luminar and change the sky . . . and then use Silver Efex Pro to convert it to monochrome.

The highlights are still a problem, but it kind of works.

I processed a similar HDR image where only the sky was blown out, and that’s a better candidate for sky replacement.

Of course, it too can be monochromed (if that’s not a word, it should be).

Again, it’s a matter of taste . . . these HDR looks hit some people wrong, and no amount of postprocessing magic changes their mind. For some scenes, I like the stark details, this being one such scene.

A less jarring HDR is this closeup of the support trusses.

In this case, the HDR is close to the middle exposure bracket (what the camera metered), but you get a bit more detail in the shadow and not as many blown-out highlights.

. . . and you can still monochrome it . . .

Once in Aurora HDR, you can opt for other “looks”. For instance, this is the “Detailed” option (in color and in monochrome) . . .

As usual, different looks appeal to different readers. I’m more in the camp of liking almost any look.

The gallery for the above is HERE, and you can click HERE for a slideshow of the above twelve images.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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