The Story

Returning to a target-rich site for the second time in a year has its benefits. The first, and possibly most important, is that you likely aren’t as frenetic about your surroundings as you may have been during the first go-round. It’s not as novel – and this is a good thing. You have clarity of mind. You aren’t as compelled to shoot every single thing. You see more clearly.

This was the case for me when I returned to the Nelson Ghost Town outside of Las Vegas, NV after Photoshop World ended this past September. Because I had shot most of the marquee items during my first trip the year prior, I felt at ease when I returned. Well, as much at ease as anyone could while baking in 113 degree F heat. :)

In terms of processing

This is a seven exposure HDR image tone-mapped in Photomatix Pro

I added Thermopylae onto the bare ground and some Green Enhancer onto the random brush. I masked in a Soft Light blend of Return of the King onto the sign and Vecchio onto the wood post behind them. I also added a heavy vignette for effect. All done in Perfect Effects 4 by +onOne Software.

After that, I applied a very slight amount of blur using FocalPoint 2 to render the background beyond the sign out of focus.

Final touches were applied in Lightroom 4.2.

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