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Night Canal, Bruges, Belgium, Dec. 20, 2006

night canal

For this image from my Bruges in December 2006 photoset (click image for larger view) I lightened and brought out detail in the dark areas using the following workflow:

1. duplicate background layer
2. desaturate new layer
3. invert desaturated layer
4. gausian blur new layer (a lot)
5. change blend mode to soft light
6. adjust levels, curves, hue/saturation

This is a wonderful trick for bringing out detail in the shadow areas of underexposed photos. (BTW, I set my camera to underexpose slightly because information can be pulled out of dark areas but areas that are burnt away are just gone.)

I also sharpened using my usual method:

1. duplicate background layer
2. set blend mode to overlay
3. adjust transparency to about 55%
4. apply high pass filter

This sharpens the image in a nondestructive way, and the image stays sharp when resized.

No flash or tripod was used. The image was taken after dark (at 9:33) with an f-stop of 3.5 and an exposure of 1/8.

By the way, my flickr site is very lonely. No one is making any comments. I guess it’s not getting any visitors. 🙁

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