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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Everything Old is New Again

To prove that I actually listen when I go on photo workshops, this week I went back to some images that I shot back in May and looked at them with a fresh eye. I shot these three images on an HDR workshop taught by my friend and mentor, John Barclay. I love going on workshops because I get to play with my friends and meet new friends - which I did on this particular workshop.

In on of my recent postings, I described HDR photography really badly. I will try to redeem myself in this post.

When we see - with our eyes - we see a wide range of light and dark areas of a scene. For instance, when we are inside a building, looking out a window, we see the inside of the window - the sill, the frame, the walls around it - and we also see the outside scene - the lovely rolling countryside. When we try to take a picture of that same scene, in our photos, we will see either the outside scene and the inside will be dark - all the details lost - OR we will see the inside scene and the outside seen will be "blown out" (too bright) - all the details lost. That is because while our eyes can see and process a range of exposures, our cameras can't. Of course not unless we do something special. That "special" technique is called HDR Photography or high dynamic range photography. When using this technique we take several shots of the same scene and blend them together in a photo processing software of some kind. We take shots where the darks are not too dark and show detail and we take shots where the brights are not too bright and show detail. And after blending them together, we have an image that is closer to what we saw with our eyes. This is what I have done in these shots. I have shot anywhere from 3-5 images, at different exposures, and have blended them together.

I also tweaked some color and contrast and "artified" the images using one of the Topaz plug-ins for Photoshop until I liked what I got - but that is the subject of another post.

The HDR technique is generally done with the camera on a tripod - although it can be done (more difficult) hand holding the camera. I used a tripod for these images.

Eastern State Penitentiary - the abandoned cells seem so forgotten!!!


I'm heading to NYC for work for several weeks. I don't know if I'll be able to shoot while I am there. Or if I am able to shoot, if I will be able to process any images in any meaningful way. We'll see.

1 comment:

John Barclay said...

Nice job, terrific images!