Alone in the dark

I’m one of those guys who loves being alone in the dark, and I surround myself in darkness whenever I can.  My office is dark, my study is dark, and I suppose my pictures are dark as well.  I think if you look at my body of work, you can see what I mean.  Not that I can’t shoot and process other stuff, but I prefer that kind of work… at least at the moment.  So today I thought I’d let you all take a peek behind the scenes of my workflow to see how how post-process my HDR work.  As you’ll see in the video, I’m a big fan of HDRSoft’s Photomatix Pro, when it comes to pulling my brackets together and tone-mapping my HDR.  So, without further ado, here is the final image and, below that, the video that shows you of how I got there.  Let me know what you think!  (BTW, I’d be grateful if someone could clue me in to how I can properly and center the the video I have up on vimeo with the photo in this blog. I’m using wordpress with P3 and, for some reason, every time I center the video using the ‘Align Center’ radio button, the video disappears and is replaced with only a text link to the video .  Thanks in advance.)

(EDIT: Since posting this, this fine folks at HDR Soft have allowed me the privilege of offering to all of you the coupon code FOTOFREQHDR . That will save you 15% on your purchase of the fantabulous Photomatix Pro (this also works for purchases of Photomatix Pro Plus Bundle, Photomatix Light, Photomatix Plug-In for Apple Aperture, and their Tone Mapping Plug-In for Photoshop CS2/3/4/5.  All you have to do is type the code FOTOFREQHDR or fotofreqhdr into the “Coupon Code if available” box and you save some cold hard cash!)

Fotofreq’s HDR Post-Processing Workflow from fotofreq on Vimeo.

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Great result and fantastic video on your HDR workflow. If you want to center the video just go into HTML mode when creating the post and at the very beginning of the cose for the vide put and that will center it in the post. Hope this helps.



Hey there, Dave. Thanks for the nod and advice. What was it that I put in the beginning of the HTML code?

Very useful video. It’s interesting how you (and some others) don’t do a lot of heavy lifting in Photomatix, but rather use various Photoshop filters to get your final look. I can see how you have greater control going the PS Filter route, particularly the way you can selectively brush in the effect. Not only was this video useful in detailing your HDR process, it also is quite instructive on using the brush capability of the Nik tools. Looking forward to more videos, keep up the good work.


Hi, James. Glad you found it useful. I suppose it is precisely because I do the “heavy lifting” of my work in Photoshop, rather than with any HDR tone-maping software, that I don’t find Nik Software’s new HDR Efex Pro useful, but I live and die by their other products (particularly Color Efex 3.0).

great post and fantastic image! You have an awesome style and it’s really cool to get a glimpse into your processing! It’s a nice addition to the post a while back into how you set up for your brackets!

Thats Awesome – just followed some of your instructions and Its immediately opened up another dimension with processing. I’ll certainly return to this tutorial to pick up on your technique again.

Great work, thanks for taking the time to produce this . . must admit I wasn’t expecting an American accent!

Mark. Really glad it helped out. If only one person gets something out of this, I’ve accomplished my goal.

Jacques – This is Awesome…. thanks for posting.

hey man. How the heck are ya? Shoot me an email so we can catch up. By the way, Berlin’s festive of lights starts today, so hoping to get some shots late tonight before midnight.

Very interesting tutorial Jacques, and I have to say, better without the music which was a tad distracting. I have been using some of the techniques you detail in my photos already, but not many of the filters you have shown. I struggled to get to grips with Lightroom during a 30 day trial, but after seeing this I may give it another go! Thanks for sharing this very valuable information with us, much appreciated.

Jaques, just finished watching your tutorial on your workflow. Well done my friend. I can’t believe what I am missing in my workflow and it makes me want to upgrade to CS5 and upgrade my Nik Software for LR to the Complete Collection.

I look forward to future tutorials. Keep up the great work.

Hey Jaques,

The code for centering is:



Thank you very much for posting this video. Your work is amazing and it is a great source of inspiration. I appreciate you being open about your post processing and sharing with us some of your techniques. Keep up the great work.
Best regards.

Hi Danilo! Thanks for those comments. Look forward to putting more info out once I return to Germany later this week.

Jacques – What a wonderful video. I learn so much from watching these types of things. Not only did I learn how you utilize the Nik filters but what I found so interesting is how you paint in at a very very low opacity to re-create the shadows… I’d watch any videos you post…. really helpful – thanks!

Awesome! Super pleased to hear it was useful to you, Chris.

Great video and results – very impressive work.