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Taking the picture is just the first step

Almost every year since I moved to North Carolina I try to be in the Blue Ridge at the peak of fall color. Of course when and where the peak color happens depends on the altitude and also how the season progresses – rain and temperature changes. This year I went early and a mile up, in Smoky Mountains National Park.  The first day it rained and was foggy most of the time. But that can also create great pictures – just a different mood.  This image started as a slightly underexposed RAW exposure.  I then created five different jpegs at different exposures one stop- apart.  I used Photomatix Pro to process a 32 bit HDR image from those five.  I then saved it as a 16 bit TIFF and reopened it in Photoshop for more work.  I added a watercolor filter and then used smart blur to make it more resemble a painting.

Blue Ridges

Blue Ridges

The Photographer