As mentioned several times before, military jets seriously impress me. The amount of thrust generated by the engines above allows this jet to do amazing things. I took a shot of these F-18 nozzles at the Wings Over South Texas air show a few months ago. I’ve peeked at this photo here and there and finally decided to share it.
The final image comes from just playing around with Topaz Adjust, Photomatix, Lightroom, and Photoshop. The rough process: tonemapped a single hand-held exposure in Photomatix and brought it into Photoshop. I ran it through Noiseware to clean up the sky then masked the rest of the original tonemapped image back in. Played around in Topaz Adjust to taste and ran the sky through Noiseware again. Adjusted levels, curves, and used a black and white adjustment layer to fix up a bit of the clouds that Topaz had overdone color-wise. Sharpened the final image then used this tip from Nicole Young to fix a bunch of chromatic aberation.