Inside the ice cave and a Quick Tip Tuesday

I don’t think I have posted nearly enough of these shots from the ice cave trip I took up to the Apostle Islands last March. Apparently last year was the first time it was cold enough and frozen over enough to make the 1 mile walk across the ice to explore this amazing wonderland. Here’s hoping it gets that cold again this year! (Sorry Wisconsin!)

Inside the ice cave

So I planned on sharing a video I posted on the YouTube channel (you are subscribed aren’t you?) for todays Quick Tip Tuesday but as is about a regular series here on the blog, it might be a little redundant for those regulars here. I’ll share it below for you anyway, but here is a bonus tip for just you folks 🙂

I processed this one a little differently based on a short little tip from Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography Book #5 – The Photo Recipes Book. Here is an amazon link to it if you are interested (it, like all his books, is a must read!).
I love his opening segments to each chapter. He kinda goes right up to the comedic cliff edge, and well….., takes sometimes takes a leap 🙂

Anyway, the trick is this:

  • Use either Bridge or Lightroom to select the HDR brackets you wish to process. I used the -4, -2, 0, +2, and +4 exposures myself. After those are selected, under the Photo menu, find edit in and choose Merge to HDR Pro (in bridge, I believe its under tools and under photoshop. This then opens up the Merge to HDR window.

  • I then chose the Scott 5 preset (I usually choose to process a 32 bit file and tone in camera raw, but I went this route instead this time). You have to be in either 16 bit or 8 bit to use these built in presets. Most are garbage in my humble opinion, but Scotts is kinda cool! Check the Edge Smoothness box to soften the effect and then hit OK. A merge of these images with this preset will then happen ……… magic huh?

  • The final touch is to duplicate the background layer, apply a gausian blur at 50 pixels, lower the opacity of that layer to 50%, and use a blend mode of soft light. Then finally, add a levels adjustment layer and hit auto and you are done!

  • I took mine into Nik ColorFX and added a subtle Glamour glow and BARELY painted in a little “blueish” tint.

  • And there you have it! Yet another way to process an HDR bracket.

Of course I have a whole lotte tips in my course here just in case you haven’t heard about it!

Oh yeah, here is that video I mentioned, and like I said, check back on Sunday evenings (or Monday mornings) for my Meet the Artist posts! I am sure you will find a few cool people to follow 🙂

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