While out running in our neighborhood last week I witnessed an awesome sunrise. There were low, fast-moving clouds on the eastern horizon which made for lots of color as the sun came up. I wasn’t carrying my camera of course so I couldn’t capture this particular event. The next morning I noticed that there were a few clouds on the horizon again as the sun was rising so I popped out of the house with the camera — the first time in weeks I’ve been out to shoot anything at all. I captured only two scenes (several bracketed exposures of each though).
I initially started out to make a simple HDR with 6 exposures (-4 through +1 in single-stop increments) so I did the usual tonemapping in Photomatix, then brought that into CS4 with some original exposures. I replaced the sky — not for noise reasons but rather due to the blur that had been introduced by the fast-moving clouds. After that, I did some of the usual curves/levels/sharpness and was “finished”. I liked it OK…the lens flare was cool, sunburst was nice…I would enjoy seeing it pop up on my desktop screensaver for sure.
On a whim I started playing around with some textures. I only had 5-6 textures on-hand and wasn’t willing to spend a bunch of time searching for others. Long story made short, I ended up using a canvas texture and another random, blotchy texture. Most of my experimentation involved trying out different layer blending modes and opacities. I used “linear light” for one texture and overlay for the other. I offer you my free texture tutorial: “Play around until you like something”.
I also over-saturated the colors somewhat. I don’t normally add any saturation but I thought it fit the painterly effect I was going for.
When I witness a scene like this I can’t help but think of how amazing God’s creation is. My kids and thought Ps 113:3 fit this one: “From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised!”.