Reflections on a year in 365 photographs


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Following up on last night’s HDR airball, I went back to the same spot today, armed with the right settings on my Canon 40D to ensure a proper 5-stop, 3-image bracket.  As I headed downtown this afternoon, the sky promised some fireworks at sunset.  But as I finished an 8 mile running loop I saw the horizon start to become soupy and indistinct.  I took some brackets of the bridge but the sky in that direction was flat and grey.  

When things aren’t really working, turn around.  You never know what you’re going to find.  The sky here is still not exploding, but the bands of pink and magenta break up the greys and blues to make a worthwhile image.  

You can see the extra detail throughout this shot that is the product of an HDR merged photograph.  There are a few ways to make HDR images.  Photoshop has its own merging capabilities, but generally produces less than satisfactory images.  For this shot’s workflow I uploaded my CF card into Aperture 2.1 and then exported the three exposures to the Photomatix Aperture Plugin.  Once I had the image merged and tone-mapped I exported to Photoshop for a bit of curves adjustment, sizing, and sharpening.  There is a lot of information in this image that isn’t going to show up on a monitor.  With a couple of days’ work this image could actually pop right off of the page.  I will revisit it when I’ve got more time.  

So for today, I’ve conquered my camera’s bracketing with 2-second timer and mirror lock-up settings.  Success!  What have you done to challenge yourself to do better today?  

Check out my Flikr Photostream for more HDR images from today.


Written by Brian Fancher

January 21, 2010 at 1:35 am

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