Sanur sunset, an almost deleted picture - and a free texture

I was browsing some old pics from 3 years ago -  a time when I just started to shoot in RAW - and found a series of shots from Bali, that I thought would never make a decent picture, but I wanted to give it another try. Somehow I wanted to check whether I was able to process a picture that represents the beauty of that evening or that I had to delete it.

Long story cut short: I came out quite well, but how?!

Sanur Sunset - after

I took the pic in the evening when everybody was enjoying the last light on the beach. So I was challenged with rather complicated light conditions. I didn't know what the best camera settings for the situation would be, but I knew that shooting in RAW would later give more options to correct my shortcomings.  I think I opted for some of the automatic settings that Canon offers for beginners and took my pictures. I ended up with a nicely lit sky, but a very dark foreground.

Sanur sunset - before
HDR -processing

A few days ago I checked out Trey Ratcliffe's homepage ( and read/watched his short, but very informative and helpful HDR-tutorial. So I decidedd to see what is possible with a file like this. After playing around for some while I saved a decent HDR/ tonemapping result. Now the beach was visible, almost no noise and lovely colours.

Sanur sunset HDR

Adding textures

Next thing was to add some more atmosphere, which in my case usually means  some further processing with textures.

I chose the following two textures:

New Gold Dream

New Gold Dream is for free download, get it here:

Download Texture

Blue Flow

As usual I am adding a copy of the layer order with some remarks to show how I processed the picture:

This whole experience reminded me of the fact that in the light of technical developments one should be very cautious when it comes to deleting your files. As long as they are well composed and not totally overexposed, there is a good chance that one day there will be a way to process them and get a good result. So I rather tend to keep files on my HDD, even though I might have no idea what to do with them at the moment.

Again, thanks for reading!

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