©2013 Jeff Morgan

‘The Forgotten France’

Château du Théret

Location : It is in the municipality of La Saunière located in the department of Creuse and the region Limousin, France. The Château dates back to the fifteenth century and is in private hands but we are privileged to have the owner’s permission to photograph here. Château du Théret was filmed in 2002, for the television movie "Children of Light", with Nathalie Baye, after the book by Françoise Chandernagore.

It was in the afternoon when I captured this image using a tripod-mounted Canon 5DmkIII camera and a Canon 24-105mm f/4 L lens set to 73mm. I used Live View focusing at 10x on the Château. The camera was set to manual exposure mode, f/11, ISO 100 and daylight white balance. I then captured a series of 9 exposures from 1/8th of a second all the way to 1/2000th of a second in one stop increments. The RAW processing, creating and saving of the HDRI was all done in Photoshop CS6. The HDRI TIFF file was then opened and tone mapped in Photomatix Pro. The final adjustments were then done back in Photoshop, with the Nik Color Efex Pro plug-in.

I have been asked many times why I first build the HDR image in Photoshop and then Tone Map it in Photomatix Pro, since it seems the logical thing is to do it all in one program. I appreciate the image quality you can get from the full control of Adobe Camera Raw. You should always take a lot of care to set the white balance controls, the lens correction and the noise reduction to the optimum for the HDR image set. You can then simply save all the images as TIFF files for processing in Photomatix Pro, but since the Remove Ghosts option in Photoshop is so good I find it better to build the HDRI directly in Photoshop CC. Turning off Align Images when building the HDR image in Photoshop is the best bet. It doesn’t appear quite pixel-accurate, because it will slightly blur my tripod shot images. You can now save the HDRI as a 32 bit TIFF file in Photoshop for export to Photomatix Pro 5. I personally love the look you can get with Photomatix’s Tone Mapping. There are lots of adjustments to play with, allowing you to get just the look required for the subject. The Bottom Line is that Photoshop offers a much better raw converter – and it’s also really great at removing ghosting when required. However Photomatix offers a very specific look with its tone mapping adjustments that I find very attractive. I really do enjoy using the best of both worlds.