Thanks, Alban. It may look so, but the HDR effect is actually quite subtle. The original shot was a little too bluish (due to the late time of day), so I gave it a warmer tone quite similar to how I saw it and remember it at that time. I can achieve almost the same effect by adjusting the White Balance of the RAW file to "Cloudy" (6500 K), so I don't think it's over-processed
The HDR look here does not come about by the color, to me anyway, but by the distribution of gray or, I am not sure how to call it, by some kind of leveling of the color contrast or contrast in general, mainly in the area of the foreground. That is something I never liked about HDR, and you are usually very good in minimizing this effect.
I think I know what you mean, Alban, and I don't like that either. Sometimes you can even tell the heavy HDR processing just by looking at the thumbnail. I just uploaded the original file in my Scraps and you might be interested in comparing that to the final result. Find it here: [link]
Thanks Keld. I did not expect to see such a big difference. But you did a great job in creating a tranquil scene. The warm colors help with that, I think, too.
Did you ever try out Tony Kuypers luminosity masks? I spend a lot of time with my pictures, too, but I think Tony offers a more natural way of increasing contrast and color saturation, that gives much more control. But I can't really tell, because I don't use Photomatix.
I usually don't edit my images that much, but when I feel there is room for improvement (and I'm not too lazy), I sometimes do a little extra
I don't know Tony Kuyper and I'm not even sure I know what luminosity masks are, but I often use masks and different blending modes to adjust contrast, highlight and other things. It's a much better way than using the Dodge and Burn tools, which I never really learned to master. Anyway, I just found Tony's website and will take a closer look at his tutorials this evening. Thanks again for your kind words, Alban