Year Two (113) – London

Trying to get a different view of London is always a challenge and this time I found a view that was new to me…. and during this visit I only really had time for a short walk on the South Bank.

The sky started off grey and uninspiring, I tried looking for patterns and although I loved the pattern of the underside of the bridge near Black Friars, I did not line it up right and to bring back the detail I had to rely on HDR…

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Year Two (45) – A trip to the beach

I headed to the beach… I took my camera, I was not really sure what I wanted to capture today, other than some photographs … I ended up enjoying the sunshine and the fresh air and taking a variety of images and experimenting! Continue reading

Day 273 – HDR Woodland Scene

What is HDR? HDR means high dynamic range and is able capturing and breaking out all the details in the shadow and in the highlights, it can make a real looking image (my preference) or something very surreal.

Today I thought I would try a comparison of the HDR tools that I have access to. I set up my tripod in the New Forest, I had the polarising filter on so that I could capture the detail in the water, and took a photo at F20, ISO 100 with a variety of shutter lengths to ensure that I captured 5 images of the same scene – one with average exposure, and then 2 stops of light either side.

The oringinal 5 images1
The oringinal 5 images

I have got a number of different ways I can take these 5 images and develop them to include so that I have a high dynamic range.

The first adaption was done in Lightroom CC – straight from the files above. It has coped really well with the leaves moving in the breeze on the trees and I think it maps the colours the best.

Lightroom Automatic HDR setting
Lightroom Automatic HDR setting

A totally different feel to the image – the blues are bluer, the leaves less sharp and the colours more saturated in the image below – this was opened in Photoshop and the HDR pro tool was used – choosing photorealistic as the option. There are a lot more options available to edit the image this way, and a lot more fine tuning that can take place – but this default application does not look as natural looking.

Merged into Photoshop HDR Pro - chose Photorealistic HDR
Merged into Photoshop HDR Pro – chose Photorealistic HDR

Taken into photoshop cc again, but this time edited with a plugin from the Google Nik Collection – the detail on the tree trunk is amazing, it has handled the movement in the leaves much better and water almost takes on an iridescent glow.

Edit via photoshot with HDR efex pro - detailed
Edit via photoshot with HDR efex pro – detailed

The HDR Efex Pro plugin allows you to stimulate the HDR effect on just a single image – so I worked it’s magic with just one exposure – and the leaves are nice and sharp – as there was no movement to deal with. There is not as much detail in the moss and the water – but if you have not taken five shots originally I think it makes a great attempt at capturing the full range of colours.

Photoshop - HDR effects Pro - just on one image.
Photoshop – HDR effects Pro – just on one image.

HDR Effects Pro, and Photoshop HDR pro can both by pushed to the extremes – an example of which I have included below. It is not a style I like – but it is interesting to try just so that I understand the capabilities of the software.

Extreme HDR editing with HDR efex pro via Lightroom  for a Surreal effect
Extreme HDR editing with HDR efex pro via Lightroom for a Surreal effect

The experiement is an interesting one – 5 original images taken at the same settings with just exposure differences – edited slightly differently all with the “HDR” options and 5 very different end results … it certainly highlights that if you don’t get the result you are trying for – try again, but equally you realise that it could be a real timewaster as you edit and edit and loose sight of what you were trying to say through making the image come alive.

Finally as I was out walking in the woods – I spotted some more fungi … there were amazing – but I did not make the photos, I took them as record shots… as looking back at them I can see the errors!

Forest fungi - ISO200, F10, 1/80sec
Forest fungi – ISO200, F10, 1/80sec
Forest Fungi - ISO 400, F10, 1/10sec
Forest Fungi – ISO 400, F10, 1/10sec

Day 18 – Blue

Looking around online there are a number of Facebook groups that can support your photography, one of the ones I have recently joined offers a 52 week challenge, so although I am late starting I am going to try and include some of their ideas into my blog – as their weekly challenge may encourage me to think differently – today they announce a new theme “Blue”

Today I got to go out to give one of my teens a driving lesson, and as he is driving a blue car I thought it was the perfect opportunity to shoot something blue and cause I did not have a lot planned this afternoon to have a go at some HDR effects in Photoshop.  I used this video to help.

First this is the original photo with the number plate removed. This was taken at a normal exposure, I also took the same shot underexposed be 2 stops and overexposed by 2 stops.

ISO 100, 1/200 sec, F10 on a tripod!
ISO 100, 1/200 sec, F10 on a tripod!

I then opened all three images in photoshop, used the built in HDR filter, then ran a couple of high passes and followed the instructions in the video I shared… plus added a little details to the number plate to produce an HDR version of the photo – see below. Personally I think I prefer the original…

Today’s learning – once again is to consider backgrounds… I did not choose the parking space … my learner son did – but the building behind the image are very bright and cause a distraction, and it is interesting to see the building reflected in the car door – reflections turn up all over the place, so changing my angle, moving my feet or moving my subject – the car – could have lead this to being a much strong image!

HDR effect applied on Photo
Also I managed to take another photo at the Beach today which I edited in photoshop to add writing in the sand – so that I can finish the “Keep Living Strong” message I started yesterday with a calming sea. My finished image is here:

Keep Living Strong
Keep Living Strong