Wednesday, November 24, 2010

More HDR

Since I've been playing around with HDR, I decided to go out and try to shoot a few frames specifically for this process.

Under perfect circumstances, if you want to play with HDR, you need to shoot in Exposure Mode. I sort of understand this, but the easiest way to explain it is that you will be shooting three versions of the same image (or almost exactly the same image). Ideally, you'd use a tripod, but I wasn't all that serious, so I just shot hand held. By the way, I didn't have the Canon with me, so these were shot with the Panasonic.

Back to Exposure Mode.
You set the camera up
so it records in 3 different levels.
The first will be way underexposed.

The second will be what the camera
believes to be correct.

The third will be very overexposed.

It's important that you understand one thing about digital photography vs film. As I understand it (and I'm not always right because, remember, I don't speak Camera), film is essentially a chemical process. Chemicals in the film react to light, then chemicals in the lab complete the process.

Digital is different in that it deals with information, well, digitally . . .

This means that there is often information contained in a digital image that can't be seen with the human eye, but the computer knows it's there.

Before I ever try any "automated" software (really not a correct term as there are a ton of decisions to be made by the operator, but much of the work is predetermined by the program), I always try to "develop" the image myself, using my own judgement and Photoshop.

Here's my first "manual"try.
OK, but not great.
The sky is still too blown out
(as it was in real life)
and the smoke way too blue.
You may need to click on the images
to see them at a larger resolution
so you can see the differences.

Time to try something else.
This time I used software
called Photomatix Pro.
It's specifically developed to
create HDR images.

I liked this shot a lot better.
The sky was really grey,
like it had been in real life
and the foreground was sharp and clear.

Still, in my memory,
the smoke in the valley
had been more distinct,
so I went to work on the image
(that had previously been converted to HDR)

This was more like it.

Now that I had an image I liked,
it was time to get a bit creative.

I like the idea of
taking the color down a bit.

Just cause I can..

Next, I decide to go
in a whole different direction.
I've just watched Avatar again,
so I decided to enrich the color
and soften the entire shot.
Kind of like a dream.

This is what I love about digital photography,
the possibilities are endless.

That's it for today.

I hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving.

Weather permitting,
we'll be going to the coast
to shoot a few pictures.


Me and My Dog said...

Interesting. Thanks for the explanation. The process really creates 3-D images. You must be having fun playing with the different looks.
Happy Thanksgiving from me and Katie!

photowannabe said...

Love all your experimenting. Digital is so great for that.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow. Enjoy a little turkey and photos.

Traveler said...

Thanks for the tutorial. Love your images and your explanation. Hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving.