Here’s an alternate look at my entry for “Chaos Week” as part of the Geographic Composition project.
I liked the color of the original, especially the blue of the rug in the background and the warmth of the surface of my desk on the right. But there’s something about this version, too, that really strikes me. Maybe it’s the high contrast. Maybe it’s the texture. Maybe it’s the stained look. Whatever it is, on many levels I prefer how this one looks to the first.
I started with a series of 5 bracketed shots with the white balance set to daylight, as the main source of light was an overcast sky through my window, with a tungsten desk lamp used to warm it up a little and provide some more shadows.
I merged to HDR in PS CS2, applied a LAB sharpening technique, used the patch tool to remove my stray foot, and did some selective Hue/Saturation and Curves adjustments to touch it up. I also did some dodging and burning via painting (at 25% opacity) with black and white on a layer filled with 50% gray and set to Overlay to give it a little more depth.
After completing the final HDR version for my entry I felt as though it could use a little something. So I placed 5 different textures on top, each with a Soft Light blend mode to give it that grunge feel.
Which do you prefer? Why?