Scroll Over Image to See 'Before' Version
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This image is titled "A Hidden Treasure" for a reason...In the blue ridge mountain region of western North Carolina there are many many old mining caves to explore. A very interesting stop on our travels 'down south', we spent a day at one of these mining caves, digging for gemstones. This was so much fun...and we found some awesome gems that we were later able to polish and have made into jewelry. Anyways, the photo opps at these caves and in the mining shafts are very cool. This particular shot was taken outside the entrance into a cave. If you look closely you can see old railroad tracks to the left, which used to be used for the mining cars to enter the cave.
This is an HDR image, taken with 5 exposures (-2 to +2). Exposure compensation was used at +1.0. After the tonemapped image was generated through Photomatix, it was brought into Photoshop with the original 5 exposures, for further post processing. The most significant post processing work done to this image was color enhancement to the water. Of course, I used a polarizer filter on my camera when taken the initial shots in order to reduce reflection on the water. However, further enhancement was needed to bring out the natural green and brown tones of the water. I sampled the green area of the water with the eye dropper tool. This gave me the exact color of the water. I then selected a more dramatic shade of green from the color palette, chose a soft brush, set the blending mode to 'overlay', set the opacity to 8%, and gently brushed in some color. I did the same with the brown tones, but used a 'multiply' blending mode. Viola!