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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Castle and Gardens

Nikon D70 @ 11mm, 1/3 to 25 secs, f/4.2, ISO 200

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Thanks for all your comments on yesterday's shot, glad you all seemed to like it.

I should perhaps explain a little more about HDR (High Dynamic Range) images for anyone who hasn't heard of them. It's quite simple really: you take a scene with a really high dynamic range - one that the camera can't cope with - and compensate by taking a variety of images with different exposures. Make sure that you expose for the highlights and the shadows, and get a few exposures in between (I don't know enough about this yet to know the optimum settings to use). You then use a program that'll combine these images and make some tone mapping adjustments. I've been using photomatix (as opposed to what I called it yesterday: photomatrix!) but I know that you can do this in PSCS2 as well.

You can check out the flickr HDR pool for a lot of shots with this effect. Most of them are overdone and completely unnatural looking, but there are the occasional phenomenal shots that make a visit definitely worthwhile.

This one is of Edinburgh casle (if you didn't already know!), taken from Princes Street. The lights on the castle are incredibly powerful, and so a normal exposure for this kind of scene is near impossible. The HDR technique allowed me to combine 7 images, with shutter speeds ranging 1/3 sec to 25 secs (in one stop increments).


Blogger DGAF said...

holy crap....awesome!!!! i need to get out and try this for sure. the greens are amazin.

2:26 am, March 11, 2006  
Blogger Antique Mommy said...

I think this shot has an unnatural sense to it and that's what I find so interesting about it -- it almost has a "movie set" feel to it with it's saturated colors and dramatic shadows. And the castle almost seems one dimensional, like it could be blown over in a strong wind. Very cool indeed.

4:13 am, March 11, 2006  
Blogger Brent Vermilyea said...

Great shot, John! The green really pops. The composition is very nice. The pathway provides a lot of foreground interest. Regards, Brent

4:38 am, March 11, 2006  
Anonymous owen said...

another awesome HDR image!

1:00 pm, March 11, 2006  
Anonymous fly said...

Combination of 7 images!
and I love the sky. Absolutely phenomenal.

3:43 pm, March 11, 2006  
Blogger CurlyToes said...

Another great HDR image, John. You're showing the rest how it should be done, imo. Looks very natural.

9:05 am, March 12, 2006  
Blogger Owen B. said...

Yep, this is definitely a more effective use of HDR than on yesterdays image, in my opinion.

I have to raise a point with Curlytoes: Photomatix is of course a tool designed to get elements of a photo exposed together that wouldn't normally be - as John explains. But it is being used at the moment to popular effect to create these other-worldly images. I don't necessarily think that because John has produced a less artificial, more natural, well balanced exposure here that he is the only one doing it 'right'. I actually rather like some of the artificial ones, myself...

There is a line, though, and there really are some terribly overbaked images being created with it, I agree.

That is all! :)

1:24 am, March 13, 2006  
Anonymous Mona said...

This HDR is nicely done. The grass imho is too saturated and if it was taken down a little, it may look more 'real'.

I had never heard of HDR before, but I am assuming you can also use HDR when processing raw, i.e. expose for the sky and open the same image with exposure for everything else. then sandwich the two image on photoshop.

Since my style involves more people, it's hard for me to keep my hands steady without a tripod when trying for HDR. But I do find myself taking multi expsoure on camera for HDR reasons.

2:16 pm, March 13, 2006  
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