The Rock Yard is an outdoor performance area at the Fantasy Springs Casino & Resort in the low desert at Indio, California. The resort’s pool is behind the line of palm trees in the background, and the pool deck gets very crowded during the day. This adjacent area is a comprised of architectural elements, landscaping and a mix of comfortable chairs and lounges generously scattered throughout, it is never crowded during the day and is a very calming and inviting place to relax in the early morning or late afternoon. On weekend evenings live bands perform on the Rock Yard stage and guests can sit on the benches on the lawn, at the cocktail “rails” and at tables on patios or an overhead deck adjacent to three restaurants and enjoy the music.
This HDR image was captured at 6:30 P.M. in late May as the sun was on its way past the western horizon. The building tower and the palm trees in the background were the only elements that were in direct sunlight, everything else in the image was in open shade. The yellow-ish color cast to the part of the building that is in direct sunlight and the color cast on the palm trees in the background are a result of color temperature of setting sun light. I am not happy with the halo-ing in the sky and tried every trick I knew in an attempt to mitigate it in post processing, but was not successful. I think that if I had captured more than three brackets I might have had at least one or two brackets with an even toned sky, but I was shooting hand-held, and three brackets in camera (without tripod and without my Promote Control) is all I could get.
Something else I am noticing as I post this in the WordPress hosted blog is that the color and brightness seems to be off when I preview this blog post, it does not match what I am seeing when I display the image on my laptop from within Lightroom from the DNG file or when I display a JPG of the image from my laptop’s desktop. After I post this in the blog I will put it up on G+ and see how it looks there.
Update: I have the image up on G+ and the color and brightness are still off. I am thinking it is an issue of the default color setting I use with Lightroom which is ProPhotoSRGB which is unsupportable on the Internet. I made a decision to use ProPhoto because I always wanted the greatest color range available to my images when they are printed, but have never before today noticed a significant difference between rendering images directly from a file on my laptop or rendering images brought back to the laptop from the Internet. This has me concerned because all the images in my sales gallery are ProPhotoSRGB JPG files to ensure the best color image when prints are ordered, what would a buyer’s reaction be if he ordered a print and when he received it compared it to the image he saw on the Internet and realizes the images are different?
Update #2: The image is now uploaded to my sales gallery which is hosted by SmugMug and I was pleased to see that it is reproduced there exactly as I see it when I am looking at it directly on my laptop. This leads me to believe that both WordPress and G+ might be altering the color and brightness of my images when they display them, this is quite distressing.
Update #3: I have taken James Brandon’s advice in his comment and re-worked the image in Photoshop, but not by just masking in the most even of the
original frames, but also increasing the blue channel saturation of that frame. A final vibrance and brightness adjustment to the blended image in Lightroom and I have a more acceptable final image. The new final image is above, and the original image is off to the right.
It also appears that WordPress is handling my image the way I intended, and that may be because I specifically saved the file in sRGB format. I have since changed my Lightroom default to sRGB.