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Below are some samples. Is this effect made with an optical filter or is it edited during post processing? In either case, what it is called?

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You might be interested in the answer to this question:photo.stackexchange.com/questions/15785/… –  Sean Nov 24 '11 at 5:55
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Hi MCSI. These photos have some characteristics in common (tone-mapped, sky, clouds, wide angle), and some big differences (color, rays of light). Can you put into words what it is of the common factors you want to replicate? This will both help get better answers and help other people who want to do the same thing find your question. –  mattdm Nov 24 '11 at 6:10
    
PS: that request still holds even after you've gotten an answer that helps you out. It's a great way to give back to future people in need of the same help. –  mattdm Nov 24 '11 at 14:25

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

In considering the second image I found an example out of my own collection as an example image to illustrate my point.

Before adjustments: enter image description here After adjustments: enter image description here

I think what you are looking at may have been achieved with HDR, as I did with my example images. I used Photomatix Pro with 3 source RAW files to achieve this. Outside of Photomatix, I did not process any further. The images that you provided look to have quite a bit of grain, so you could add that in. My original images did not have any filters applied to them.

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The op posted two images and I think the first one is not HDR while the second one is. I thought the cloud on the first photo is surrounded by a contour of dark sky, so I think he might have burn it manually in Photoshop. –  Gapton Nov 24 '11 at 6:14
    
thanks @dpollitt thats exactly what I was asking! (nice picture) –  MCSI Nov 24 '11 at 13:02
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@Gapton - I agree! I meant to point out that I was trying to explain how the second image was created. I'm not even really sure on the first one, and obviously they are quite different images. –  dpollitt Nov 24 '11 at 14:22

It is heavily edited by software.

The editing is too heavily and make it uncertain if a hardware filter was used. My guess is that a CPL might have been use to get a more saturated sky.

I am not aware of a name for such style, but I see that dodge and burn techniques have been used in the editing process. Which is, in simple terms, to lighten or darken areas of a photograph. The name of such technique, I believe, originated from dark-room film processing. Photoshop offers this tool in their software, and the tools are therefore called dodge / burn tool.

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