For well over a year I’ve wanted to experiment with HDR (high dynamic range) photography, the blending of multiple photos taken at different levels of exposure. Over the winter I’d been slowly eyeing up various places around town where there is some interest, as I think HDR can be easily overdone and applied to subjects that don’t warrant it. But, each to their own. I’m hoping to stay calm and use subtle blends. So, coming home from work with 60F weather and blue skies, I grabbed my camera gear and jumped on the bike for some areas I’d seen just yesterday with Jeff:
There must be a fantastic story about this old army truck. I will try to pick people’s brains tomorrow on it!
Right next to this location, there’s also a burned out house just sitting having never been cleaned up. Again, would like to find out a little more about it. I can only hope everyone got out safely. This is still my biggest fear with living out here:
These HDR images were created using the awesome Photomatix software, which I realized very quickly, and with HDR in general, not just this piece of software, requires a good number of images to work with. The Canon EOS 50D by default only does 3 auto bracketed shots at up to +/- 2 stops exposure. I have found a good tutorial to quickly adjust this to 9 to 12 shots which I hope will reduce the graininess present by a lack of range in the tonal adjustment processing. 5 to 9 images seems to be a good standard for creating HDR images. The tripod and balllhead were awesome in setting these up, with ballhead so much easier to quickly and precisely line up what you wanted, and the quick release plate meaning I could also easily move to somewhere else lining up shots.
I’m looking forward to experimenting more. I know with the right conditions or filters, I may seemingly be able to achieve results close to these, but even photographs I made at what I would consider the right settings and looked very respectable pale alongside an HDR composed shot now. Check out the large resolution versions on flickr to see what I mean It works really well, and just the effect I was hoping I’d be able to achieve.