Saturday, May 14, 2011

Learning HDR: The Beginning

I've always been facinated with HDR processing for photography. I love the richness of the details and the vibrance of colour brought out by the process itself. I've never been able to pick it up properly.

From February 2011

I truly started poking at it back in February, with varying degrees of success. My worst habit for this is something that I am sure many photographers deal with when they start out: they over process.

As you can see with both of these images of shoes, both look nearly surreal. The reds in the colored image pop a little too much and there seems to be a haze cast over the boots under the bench on both. I did these HDR's from JPG's, another of my many errors in learning how to do this. I was rather discouraged by the outcome of these photos.

Thursday past there was a little presentation given by Henry's at my Camera Club about HDR processing, and it was very helpful. First point noted: work from RAW format. Second point taken: Use a tripod. Third point taken: USE AEB (Automatic Exposure Bracketing) on your camera. Those three points alone helped me immensely. There were quite a few other points noted but I won't get into them here. 

I took this new knowledge and went out with camera in hand, ready to give it another try. I headed towards the St. John's Basilica, one of the most overshot locales in town. That part I didn't care about, honestly. The part I did care about were the beautiful statues littering the grounds around the building. Here's some of the shots I came up with, non-HDR. 

The Long Walk

The Forgotten

Lament of Time
Mostly dirivitive shots, but I enjoy them. The last one, with the clock in the background, I actually took about 8 years ago on an old 4 MP HP camera, so I am glad to update the shot some. In looking at all three shots, one might think I did this shoot in Black and White, but I didn't. It was just a very very grey day. Now, onto the HDR's. 

Glow of the Belle

In looking at this shot, we see the statue from the third photo above. Upon close inspection, there is a little softness in the details because my 3 shots didn't line up perfectly, caused by an old tripod past it's prime. But, the thought is still there and the results are better than those of my shots in February. I absolutely LOVE the eerie glow around the statue itself, adding a little mystique to the shot.

I have a few others but they were all plagued with "Poor-Tripod-itus", moreso than the one above. 

This is the first time I've felt any real "growth" to my hobby of photography in some time. I'm excited to shoot again... I've been saying that for a while now but it's more been to force myself into doing it again. Now, I want to do it again.


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