I'm finally out of sunflowers for today! I learned quite a bit in this series of tests about planning an HDR shoot and visualizing the final print. As with other recent efforts, this series of tests started with five shots, two under, two over, in a studio. This flower developed quite a bit of red as it aged and HDR processing helped emphasize it.
The monochrome using the color isolate red develop preset in Lightroom 3 is a little creepy, like it was hit with arterial spray. Ok, I like it!
This monochrome version was made in Nik Silver Efex Pro, then split toned in Lightroom 3.
I'm increasingly fond of the titanium toner effect in Silver Efex Pro for these flowers. To me they look like they are cast in metal, which is pretty cool.
For earlier HDR dead sunflowers, I used a "bleach bypass" processing step than did some interesting things with contrast and muted the colors. There is so much more color depth in the five HDR finding a balance is very tricky. I'm aiming for less cheerful, so this version is close to what I'm looking for.
Finally, a Nik Color Efex Pro monochrome solarization version with a split tone applied in Lightroom.
Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: AF Micro-Nikkor 105mm f2.8 D
Exposure: ISO 200, five brackets around f/22 @ 3s, Auto WB, tripod w/Acratech GP ball head
Lighting: Fluorescent Photo Daylight
Location: Home studio GPSProcessing: Lightroom 3, Photoshop CS5 HDR Pro, Nik Dfine, Vivenza, Color Efex Pro and Silver Efex Pro