Tag Archives: HDR

Again my daughter and I went outside with a new idea which included our little stool. This time we went to Geestmerambacht with the intension to make a fairy version of our floatation series. While we were shooting next to the lake, with lousy light and hazy skies we came to the idea to place the stool underwater, just below the water level. For a little five year old a bit scary to be on a small stool that isn’t visible but at the end all went well. She was walking on water. For those who have missed the previous series where we have already developed the floating or hovering concept I wrote a brief tutorial (to be found here) how to achieve this special effect. If you understand how this is done there are many ideas that you can execute. You can use the same technic when you want someone to walk on water. In our case we placed the stool in such a way that it was just below the water surface. Due to the ripples in the water the stool was visible in some cases, but that could be fixed easily. More on that later. In the examples below I never shot a photo without the stool. Due to the fact that the stool was underwater, there was no need to hide/remove the stool. So my base photo is with stool. Because it was not a very sunny nor bright day, (lousy light and hazy sky) I thought the image was lacking something. There is no umpf. So I decided to spice the image with some HDR. I only had I photo so I had to multiply the image. I created 7 different versions with Adobe Lightroom all with 1 stop difference. (-3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, […]

On one of my trips through the country side I saw two rowing boats filled with water laying the waterside. And I thought these were a good subject for HDR. Brought my tripod and 16-40mm lens and made some shots. Back home, after trying a few settings in Photomatix I did not like the results at all. Then I remembered an article I read on the internet which showed an example of black and white HDR photography. (link). The article shows an nice example that appealed a lot to me. So I decided to try it myself (on my own way – not following the tutorial) and I must say that I am very pleased with the result.

For many months I have been driving by this barn, even plotted it on my GPS. But never took the time to stop and take some pictures, until now. I can’t explain why but I just like the whole scenery and always had the feeling that I needed to photograph this, in HDR. So finally I did. I had a lot of dust on my sensor and because this is not normally the case, I experienced something new. The HDR process emphasizes the dust spots in a way that it is almost impossible to remove them. So to make sure that I could still use the images I decided to give them a old-fashion look and feel and applied a sepia filter to it. Personally I like the result and it fits the idea I had in my mind.

Photographing in the snow can be very difficult for some people, while this is not necessary. With a few simple pointers you will improve your snow photos. First you must be aware that snow is white and reflects a lot of light. To correct this you need to tell your camera to overexpose. You need to experiment to find the right setting, in my own experience it differs between 1/3 stop to 1 1/3 stops. It all depends on the total picture. There are more than enough resources on the web that will explain how to deal with this. For now I want emphasize that there is another technique that can help a lot to improve your photos in a snowy situation; HDR High Dynamic Range images. When you shoot in RAW (as you always should do) you can make two copies with different exposure settings of one photo. So you make a -1 stop and a +1 stop version of the original. Together with the original you can use these copies to create a HDR via Adobe Photoshop or Photomatix (there are other programs that will work as well, but I do not have any experience with these). Make sure that you don’t go over the top with your HDR settings, just some subtle extra definition in your shadows and you whites should do the trick. I have included an example. On the left you see the HDR version and on the right the original RAW 0 stop version. The HDR version has more detail in the snow areas without losing too much contrast and brightness.

If you are looking for a good tutorial on High Dynamic Range images (HDRi), I would like to recommend the following HDR tuorial by vanilladays.com. Or you can use this as a starting point. Enjoy!

I went back last weekend to make an other HDR panorama from the Corus Steel area. I took a bit more time, but the image is still not what I wanted. There was too much shadow in the front (sun was still too low) and someone placed a big barge in front of the scenery. So I think I need to go back once more (later during the day and hoping that they removed the barge. Click on the image to see the large version.

Exactly 1 month ago my father passed away. This happened during night-time. After we left the hospital it was 6 a.m. It was still dark outside (the sun just started to rise.) We drove by some farmland that was crowded with horses. My father has been busy with horses his whole life. So of coarse this scenery reminded us of my father. It was a foggy morning and there was a full moon, so plenty of light o see the horses in the fog. Both my wife and me loved the view. Last night I decided to go back and bring my camera. I got up really early so I would be there before sunrise. This morning also was a foggy morning. When I arrived there were a few horses but the were grazing on the other end of the field so it was almost impossible to photograph them. It was new moon so I also missed the additional light. And as I could have expected, it was not the same scenery as the one in my memories. But I made the 90 minutes trip and it was a beautiful morning. I brought my gear so why not take a picture. And I did. Actually is shot several that I think are worth showing you. But lesson learned is that it is almost impossible to photograph these kind of emotions or memories if you wait too long, during time they evolve in your mind and you will loose track. The first picture is actually a HDRi.

Way too many ideas and no time, there are so many cool projects that I want to start, but it looks impossible to find the time to actually get started. HDR combined with stacking photographs Alright, I still need the perfect HDR shot but I also want to combine this with stacking. Basically what it comes down to is that you shoot on a busy location for an HDR photo and with stacking you eliminate all moving object. Scale model photography Use H0 scale models (used for the model trains sceneries) to created your own set-up and situation. Too many ideas in my head, but the main idea is that it needs to be humorous situations. Or situations that are impossible in a real world. Fake scale model photography Okay this is the opposite of the above. And actually this is pretty cool. You take a real life photo and make it look like if you shot a photo of scale models. So you let a real photo look like a fake situation. This all is done via several manipulations with Photoshop or a similar tool. Planet shaped 360 degree photography. When you shoot a panorama photo that covers 360 degrees horizontal and 180 degrees vertical you will be able manipulate this in Photoshop and give a planet shape. (Google on: ‘360 degrees photography planet’, and you will find several examples) Macro photography (Insects) This is pretty straight forward, close-up photography of insects. I am still chasing that perfect macro shot. Funny thing is that I have this idea in my head of shooting ants. But the shitty thing is that we do not have ants in our garden. And I refuse to use and methods that hurt or harm animals (like putting them in the fridge or freezer) So […]

Did some experimenting with HDR. And for a first shot I have to say that I am pleased with the result. For those who are not familiar with HDR please come back later. I intend to write an article on this subject. But in short I can explain the principle. HDR stands for “High Dynamic Range”. Black is not just black and white is not just white. There are different shades of black and white. In photography we refer to different shades of grey (stops). Film sees the world differently than our eyes do. One of the challenges of photography is learning what those differences are so we can successfully put our vision on film. The human eye sees millions of colors and color variations at the same time. The eye sees all shades of white: off-white, cream, egg, ecru, soft-white, etc. Same for colors such as purple, magenta, pink, auburn, fire engine red, orange, sunset orange, and so on. The palette of colors available for oil paints is not as varied as the eye can see. Film is more limited. Unlike our eyes, film sees across a range known as the exposure latitude. This is the range of “tones” film can see between absolute black and absolute white. Film sees about 7 stops, and the same goes for a digital sensor. So what does HDR do in relation to this. You shoot multiple frames of the same subject (typically 3 shots) with different exposure settings (-2, 0, +2) so this gives you a higher range of light and dark. With special software you combine these images into one picture that shows more that the standard 7 ‘shades of grey’ So you get more detail in your shadows and more detail in your highlights. But as said before, more on […]