Part Three – Tone-mapping (Surreal)
First up, let’s look at the “Painterly” preset image edit. Essentially this edit gives the feel of a painting, hence the name. The editing options for this image are the same as “Smooth” which we looked at in part two. Here are the options again in case you missed them.
Enhances contrast and detail
Controls the saturation of the RGB colour channels, the higher the value the more intense the colours
Controls the compression of the tonal range, a higher value boosts shadow detail and brightens image
Controls the amount of contrast applied to details, the higher the value the sharper the details look but will also have the effect of darkening the image
Reduces contrast enhancements in the highlights, useful for preserving a uniform blue sky or reducing halos around objects
A higher value increases the global contrast, a lower value reduces highlights clipping
A higher value increases the global contrast, a lower value reduces shadows clipping
Controls the mid-tone of the image, brightening or darkening the entire image
A positive value enhances the yellow- orange and gives a warmer feel, a negative value enhances blues and gives a colder feel
Smooths out enhancements in small details, useful for reducing noise in sky
Adjusts the colour saturation of the highlights, can be useful in creating effects in Black & White HDR editing
Adjusts the colour saturation of the shadows, can be useful in creating effects in Black & White HDR editing
Reduces contrast enhancements in the shadows
Useful in reducing noise in dark areas of the image
There is one additional element to “Painterly” and “Grunge” edits. That is:
Essentially this controls the feel of the image making it look more natural or surreal. There are 5 options, Medium, Natural, Natural+, Surreal and Surreal+
This is the basic Painterly image without any editing and with lighting adjustment set at medium. You will see that there is a lot of noise in the image, particularly noticeable in the skyline
Obviously the level of noise can be corrected using Smoothing highlights and Micro smoothing.
Hopefully you can see that noise has now been reduced greatly. This was achieved by setting “Smooth Highlights” to 80 from the default of 0. Now let’s have a look at a fully edited version based on “Painterly medium”
The settings for this image are as follows: Strength 100, Colour Saturation, 100, Luminosity -3.6, Detail Contrast 8.1, Smooth Hightlights 91, White Point 0.490%, Black Point 0.010%, Gamma 1.0, Temperature 4.0, Micro Smoothing 12, Saturation Highlights 6.9, Saturation Shadows 7.3, Shadows Smoothness 31, Shadows Clipping 31
As I said early there are more lighting adjustments available – medium is the least extreme. Let’s see what the most extreme provides us with without any further editing.
As you can see from the image, it is very extreme. This kind of effect only works for some image types. Here is a painterly edit image I did recently. This style seems to work well with this image, it is not as extreme. Hope you like it.
Ok let’s move on to the “Grunge” edit – this is where things get extreme.
This is a basic unedited “Grunge” image, lighting adjustment set to “Surreal”, which is the default
Now the “Grunge” does not really have much effect on this image, so let’s take a look at a different image, both without any editing to compare effects using the same settings.
As you can see the effects are far more surreal – or radical, if you prefer, with this image. So let’s see what can be created from this as a starting point.
For this edit I reduced the Luminosity by 60%, Increased Highlight Smoothing and Temperature. That is all that was needed to change the image dramatically. Some of you may say: “not for the better”. Well photography, I have quickly realised, is very subjective. What I consider a great image, you may consider rubbish. Personal choice is the key. Thankfully Photomatix Pro offers the user multiple editing options and presets allowing you to create images that suit you and you enjoy.
In Part Four we will look at creating Black & White HDR images and some funky edits from those.