Wednesday
Dec072011

Store front and pool hall in Bodie

 

 

When you walk around Bodie, there is so much to photograph that it will require many trips to capture all the textures and old buildings.  If you are there on a weekend there may be lots of people there, so be prepared to wait for people to get out of the frame.  It is so neat to see the history of this town right in front of you.  I am still experimenting with HDR images and I will share what I find out with you as I learn.  Most of my images are three image composities loaded into Nik HDR effects pro, but I am finding out that images that have a wide tonal range need more exposures.  I did not know this at the time I shot my California images, but I know now!

Image data: Canon 7D with a Canon EFS 10-22mm lens.  Three image composite using Nik HDR Effects Pro.  After processing in Nik HDR Effects Pro, I processed the image in Nik Color Effects Pro using the tonal contrast filter to bring out some more color.

-mark

Wednesday
Dec072011

Non HDR image of old car

 

 

This image is not an HDR image, but a single image processed in Nik Color Effects Pro.  I desaturated the color a bit in Photoshop.  Not bad for a non-HDR image.

-mark

Wednesday
Dec072011

HDR image of old car in Bodie.

 

 

Here is another HDR image from my recent trip to California.  This old car has been photographed a lot at Bodie, and I was lucky to have some clouds in the sky on this trip.  I am experimenting with HDR to get the look I am after.  I am sure it will take some time to dial it in just the way I like it, but it sure is fun!

Image data: Taken with a Canon 7D with a Canon EFS 10-22 mm lens.  Image is a three image composite taken into Nik HDR Effects Pro.  No other processing in Photoshop.

Monday
Nov212011

First HDR Images from California trip.

One of the reasons for my trip to California this year was to play with making some HDR images.  HDR is high Dynamic Range and offers much more lattitude in an image.  Sometimes some HDR images don't look real.  I hope to find a happy medium between the real and sureal images that HDR produces.  I looked at several different HDR programs and choose the Nik HDR Effects Pro for my HDR software.  The control you get with HDR Effects Pro is easy and you have so much control that you may not even have to go back to Photoshop when your image is processed.  It is nice to do all that in just one program.

I have found that HDR is not as easy as it looks in some of the software and not every image is right for HDR.  I have noted that as I am taking landscape images with clouds, that the clouds move and that can produce some alignment issues that causes the clouds to look blurry.  This is just a new tool for photographers and can be overdone just as any filter or technique.  I have a long way to go on learning the HDR technique, but I am having a blast with it.  Here is one example of an HDR image I took at Bodie on this trip.  The control points in Nik HDR Effects Pro allowed me to lighten the grass right in the program without having to go back in Photoshop and do some masking on the image.  Well worth the price of the software and will become one of my favorite programs I am sure.

 

 

Friday
Oct072011

Zabriskie Point in Death Valley

One of my main reasons to visit Death Valley this year was to do some experimenting with HDR photography.  There are several great programs out there for HDR processing, but it looks like I will be using the HDR program from NIK.  If you have ever used their filters, you know how sweet they are.  This is not an HDR image, but it looks a lot like one.  Programs like TOPAZ Adjust are examples of doing this type of image.  Bringing out details with various techniques can also result in added noise to an image.  It is that noise that gives the image that "grunge" look and grabs our attention.  I have seen a lot of HDR that is over done and I want to have an image that still has a photographic look, while adding some "punch" that grabs your attention.  I will be experimenting with some different programs and techniques over the next few weeks and I will post the results here.

Here I am at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley taken at sunrise with a Canon 7D.