[singlepic id=190 w=320 h=240 float=right]Now that we have a tone mapped LDR image, preferably saved from the previous step as a png or other lossless file format we can fine tune and finish. The steps outlined in this post can be performed in any decent image editing program. I have been a long time supporter and user of the Gimp project and thus the screen shots to follow are with the Gimp. Anyone whom has read my previous tutorial on Photography Development Using Gimp should be familiar with the steps that follow as with that I feel there are a minimum of three steps that need to be followed, adjusting levels, curves, and saturation. Some images require more steps depending on the desired final results.
I like to use open as Layers to open both the tone mapped image and one of the originals so that I may be able to compare my end results easily within the Gimp. This can be done through File -> Open As Layers and select the images you want to open. For this reason I like to keep all my projects in their own unique folder for ease use. The first step always is to save as an .xcf file to preserve the original files so that they are not being overwritten. In addition I tend to save after each step, just in case.
[singlepic id=192 w=320 h=240 float=right] I always start with Levels, then curves, then saturation otherwise the results can be unique to say the least. For my file It took very little adjustment to the levels as you can see to the right. The overall goal for levels adjustment to set your shadow and highlights and the beginning and end of the histogram. Set your mid tones where you feel appropriate for your image. Mid-tone is the middle arrow, and with the live preview you will see the affect as you move the arrows around. If you adjusted the levels prior to saving from Qtpfsgui then you may notice that your levels are already optimized.
[singlepic id=193 w=320 h=240 float=right] Now in the curves again my image required only a slight adjustment. When working on your curve keep in mind a small adjustment can make a big impact. I tend to focus on shadows and light area adjustments for the mid tone seems to bring itself to where I want it most of the time. That was the case with this image which is why my curves only has a two adjustment points. You can have as many adjustment points as you like, the bottom line is to focus on achieving what you wish to see.
[singlepic id=200 w=320 h=240 float=right] Finally it’s time for the final hue and saturation adjustment. My hue adjustment for this image was very minor and you’ll notice to the negative as I wanted to bring out more of the red/orange tones in the image. Saturation I have all the way over at 100. For typical photo development this is not normally the case as you can over saturate an image, it just so happened to work for the effect I was trying to acheive here. The vibrant colors of the tree and leaves scattered on the ground.
Below is the original next to the final image. Again for more detailed photo development using the Gimp visit my tutorial Photography Development Using Gimp.
[singlepic id=176 w=320 h=240 float=left] [singlepic id=208 w=320 h=240 float=right]