Windsor Castle in HDR / by Neil Alexander

Windsor Castle by Neil Alexander (Click to view larger)

Earlier in the summer we had a family jaunt down to Legoland in Windsor, and swung by Windsor Castle on the way back. It was a bright and sunny couple of days, hardly ideal for photography, but you make the best of what you can. Windsor castle and gardens are such a lovely environment that I felt compelled to make some photographs. So how did I manage to make the image above in such harsh conditions. It was a challenge.

The first stop was to capture a bracketed range of images spanning 5 stops to make an HDR image. Unfortunately 5 stops wasn't quite enough and in even my darkest image the sky was blown out (See 2 stops under below). Merging the sequence in Photomatix Pro produced the basic HDR file in the second row below. Using the sky from an image I made at Legoland the previous day, I layered these in Photoshop and with a Layer Mask, brought the sky into the image. I then re-edited the first image (2 stops under) by bringing the recovery slider right up in Lightroom which managed to salvage some definition in the sky. I then added this as another layer and masked this in. This allowed me to add a little more reality to the sky and produce the final image above. All in all about 90 minutes work with a lot of trial and error, but knowing where I wanted to end up always helps.


That's all for today - hope it all makes sense. Any questions? Feel free to hit me in the comments or ping me an email. TTFN