Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to all

As fall winds down I need to get my home ready for the holidays.  Hopefully some new camera equipment will find its way into my stocking this year.  With winter, the weekend photo shoots may become less frequent but that just means that I have more time to catch up on my processing.

Here are a few images from several weeks ago that I had and not done anything with.  First are some beautiful orchids that I shot at the United States Botanic Garden.  This is the oldest botanic garden in the United States and is fascinating and quite warm on a chilly day.

I really love the petal texture and the colors. I shot this with my Nikon D90 and my Nikkor 24-70 lens, handheld with a fill flash.

Finally some fall foliage to close out the season, I enjoy the golden hues of these sugar maple trees.

Until next time, keep shooting.  Christmas lights and tripods go together really well.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

High Dynamic Range photography

As promised I have now created some High Dynamic Range (HDR) images that I can be proud of.  I have been fascinated with this aspect of photography for quite some time.  While the technique is not difficult to understand or use, it does require some planning.

First you need a camera that is capable of bracketed exposures.  Next you need a good tripod with the appropriate remote cable for your camera and you are ready.  Use whatever lens gives you the field of view you are looking for.

A very good tutorial on HDR photography is this one

HDR Tutorial – Everything you need to know about HDR Photography

I used this tutorial myself to get started, I read my camera manual to set up my Nikon D90 and set out to find some good content with alot of dynamic range.  Generally this means that the image you are composing has alot of bright, dark and normally lit areas.  The human eye can distinguish more dynamic range than most camera sensors can capture.  This is why an image will sometimes not have the impact that you remember or why an image seems to have too bright or too dark areas.

As you compose the shot on your tripod, focus on the entire area.  You will be shooting with a fixed aperture as you do not want to change the depth of field.  For this shot I used my Nikon D90 and my Tokina 11-16mm wide angle lens to gather as much of the room as possible.  The bracketed exposure is shot in a group of three, one is 2 f-stops below the average metered light, one at the meter and the last one is 2 f-stops over the meter.

Now that you have your three exposures, you need to merge them.  Adobe Photoshop can do this as well as several other programs.  I am using a piece of software that is free, until my skills improve.  The piece of software I used for this image is Picturenaut.

I followed the instructions to merge my three images, remove ghosts and tone map the image and this is how it came out.

Smithsonian Castle interior
  Hope you enjoy the image, I have several others on my website taken at the Smithsonian, I am going to continue to work on this technique as I really enjoy the resulting image.  The beautiful tone of the stone and the impact of the range of light is very pleasing to my eye.

Until next time, keep shooting.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day photo shoot

Salute to our veterans on Veterans Day 2010.  Thank you for your sacrifices and your courage.  I was at the Vietnam Veterans wall for a time as the ceremonies were starting and have a new image of the Veterans statue up on my blog today.
Vietnam Veterans statue

Another great image from today, I love the lighting on the US Flag.  Very nice sight on this day.

US Flag

I hope to have some HDR (High Dynamic Range) photos up soon as I believe I captured some great content today.  I want to be sure that I process them properly for the best visual impact.

Until next time, keep shooting!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Weekend photo shoot 10/30-10/31

Happy Halloween!

Beautiful weather, bright and fading foliage all in the same weekend.  I managed to get out for a while and found some interesting things to shoot.  Some of the locations I found will merit a return visit.

I found these beautiful golden leaves not too far from my home, I love fall it is my favorite time of the year.  Unfortunately the drought has really shortened the time we will have this kind of show.

Fall leaves
Another area that caught my eye was this set of large construction pipes.  I have never been one for abstract photography but this turned out well, I hope you like it!

Construction pipes

Until next weekend, keep shooting! button Promote Your Blog Follow on Buzz Blog ping service Dreamhost Promotional Codes

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