Would really like to highlight a specific area of a scene to take it from dull to wow.
I am attaching several examples of photographs that really pop. I can get my Terragen image reasonably close, but any advice would be appreciated>
Try to play with the position of the sun. That can change a lot on the overall look. Correct lightning is very important in any scene. Wrongly positioned lights can kill even the best compositions...etc. Also proper lightning can make even a single object look great.
You can also play with the haze settings. Plus you can always Photoshop here and there...
Will try Photoshop. Probably the best bet.
Have you played with the camera exposure. There's a slider, +/- ,on the left border of the 3D preview that shows up in render mode. Have you tried playing with that?
Processing in photoshop is probably your best bet for things like HDR. If not Lightroom.
Here is a quick example with a highlight layer OVER a empty layer with some black brushing to darken over saturated areas a bit.
See original and highlight layer below. Highlights were achieved with the Levels in Image -> Adjustments, with hue and black levels adjusted afterwards.
PS; I hope this is what you meant by highlights. The photos you provided are both in HDR which does a similar pass.
Heh, other posts have since said the same, but yes I would venture to guess that a large majority of why both those images pop is due to post processing settings in e.g. Photoshop, and not necessarily to the original scene or photo capture. Here's an example from one of my own photos.
You guys are the best. Of course the photos are HDR. I have a Digital Photo Pro program that is part of my Canon software that I will use. Will post a few here