Ben's Photo Blog

Photos from my various adventures

Posts Tagged ‘hdr’

Room to Breathe

Posted by Ben on October 20, 2009

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So, here’s my second attempt at an HDR image.  You’ll have to forgive the Photomatix watermarks.  I’m not quite ready to spend $100 for software specifically designed for this kinda thing, especially when I’ll probably end up buying myself a copy of photoshop sometime soon, which I believe is able to process HDRs as well.

We’ve had really nice weather up here in Blacksburg for the past few days (it’s even supposed to get up into the 70’s tomorrow!)  Even with the pretty weather, I’ve been cooped up inside for the last four days or so studying for a big test in my Computing Systems course.  Well, I took the test today, and I think I did decently on it.  It was pretty hard, but apparently class averages on these tests are generally very low and curved fairly well.  Anyway, once it was over, I breathed a sigh of relief and decided to avoid school work for the rest of the day.  I haven’t had time to go out and shoot pictures in a while and thought this would be the perfect opportunity for it.

Compared to my last attempt at least, I think this one looks much more realistic.  I really like the way the reflection on the water turned out as well as the blurry effect on the railing in the bottom left.  I’m actually really satisfied with the entire foreground of the shot, even the bank came out well.  Next time I try this, I’ll try to remember not to shoot directly into the sunset.  The light in the middle of the shot is a little overpowering and probably shouldn’t be bleeding through the tops of those trees quite that much.  The effect on the clouds is pretty cool, but I wish they had come out a little brighter.  Also, the grass on the other side of the duck pond, while part of a golf course, looks very unnatural.

I’m glad to have at least a little stress off of my back now that the test is over, and the rest of the week should go pretty smoothly (knock on wood).

-Ben

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Experimenting

Posted by Ben on October 11, 2009

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It seems like most of my recent posts have started with an apology for the preceding days of silence.  This one is no different…sorry for the delays yet again.  I can only hope the next few weeks won’t be nearly as hectic.

My adventures last weekend took me exploring along wolf creek in southwest Virginia.  I stopped off at a national forest marker that had a short trail leading away from it.  The trail ran through the woods for a few hundred feet then crossed the “creek” over a really cool looking wooden bridge, from which the above image was captured.

As you can probably tell, this is not your typical picture.  Instead this is what is called an “HDR” or High Dynamic Range image.  To generate one of these images, you need to use the exposure bracketing feature to capture an underexposed, overexposed, and properly exposed version of the same scene.  You then feed these images into special software, either Photoshop, or in my case the trial version of Photomatix Pro (hence the small watermarks in the picture).  The software takes the three images and merges them together into something like what you see above.

This was my first real attempt at this procedure, and I think it turned out fairly well.  The tree limbs were moving in the wind between the three shots, so that creates a little distortion around them if you look close enough.  I really like how the surface of the water and color of the trees in the distance turned out.  The software had a little trouble with the sky, and I’m not entirely sure why, but it’s not that noticeable.  I’ll probably end up experimenting with this technique a little more in the future now that I know how to set it up.

Below is one of the original photos that was used to make the HDR.  This was the normal exposure one:

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Sorry there aren’t any random pseudo-philosophical ramblings tonight, I have to be in a certain mood to crank those out.

Hopefully I’ll be returning to a more normal schedule here over the course of the next week or so.

-Ben

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