A somewhat controversial technique I’m very fond of is tonemapping single RAW files. Tonemapping is more normally applied to a High Dynamic Range (HDR) image generated by combining multiple shots of the same scene at different exposures. A RAW file contains much less information than an HDR image, but it still contains enough to allow tonemapping to bring out hidden detail quite effectively, though only to about plus or minus a stop and a half. I find this is a really effective way of processing sunset and dusk shots like this one.

I took this shot from just outside the derelict graveyard at Donaghmore next to Pike’s Bridge along the Royal Canal between Maynooth and Leixlip. The obelisk you can see against the dramatic dusk sky is the top of Connolly’s Folly.

Connolly's Folly at Dusk
on FlickrFull-Size

  • Camera: Nikon D40
  • Lens: Nikon DX AFS 55-200mm
  • Exposure: 1/320 sec
  • Focal Length: 75mm
  • Focal Ratio: F4.5
  • ISO: 200
  • Camera Mode: Aperture Priority
  • Post Processing: Single RAW file tonemapped with Photomatix Pro