A Dynamically High Range

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Ok, this is a bit out of the ordinary. This, my friends, is a photo post! Sort of. For those of you that don’t know me, I really like cameras and photography. When I was younger, my dad taught me how to use an SLR camera system. I learned on a Canon AE1–an older 35mm SLR. He used a Minolta X-700 and shot slides almost exclusively. For those of you who are technically challenged or unfamiliar with photography, basically, these cameras have a lot of knobs and dials on them, and very little is automatic.

Around the age of 11, I got my own X-700. I had a lot of film cameras. My favorites were the X-700 and a Minolta SRT-201, which was a beast of a camera from the late ’60s to ’70s. Nothing was automatic on that camera. The only thing it needed batteries for was a light meter–and that wasn’t even needed for taking pictures!

But anyway, on to the point of this post… I follow an awesome blog called Photobotos, and if you like photography, you really should check them out. They recently featured an image from Trey Ratcliff, a photographer who specializes in HDR images. Now, I had seen HDR images, and I even knew how they work, but I didn’t know how simple they were to produce with a regular camera. HDR  usually uses three images: an overexposed image, an underexposed image, and a normal image. The goal is to acquire the best lighting and coloration from each image and combine them into one High Dynamic Range image.

This week is my Spring Break, and I had nothing pressing to do today, so I started playing with a cheap digital point and shoot, the program Trey suggested (Photomatix), and my University’s campus. I hope to eventually get a better digital camera, but I’ll have to wait until my college expenses don’t outweigh my total worth. 😉

So, here they are. My experiments with HDR.

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They’re not great, but I’ll just use my lack of tripod and the overcast day as excuses. I’m sure the images will improve as my experience increases. Have you ever shot any HDR or other creative photos?

5 thoughts on “A Dynamically High Range

    Rachel Allison said:
    11 March , 2012 at 12:02

    I really like the one with the weird sculpture thingy out front. That’s probably my favorite out of all these.
    I’ve heard of HDR, but only used it once or twice and I didn’t like how they turned out. My uncle (a professed photography nerd), has used my camera to shoot HDR photos before though and they didn’t look so bad.
    I was given a new camera for Christmas this year (http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Digital-10-1MP-18-55mm-3-5-5-6/dp/B000I1ZWRC), which I was pretty excited about (actually, that’s an understatement… according to mom I didn’t stop smiling for about three hours afterward).
    My problem is that I’m rather a self taught photographer and I’ve spent the majority of my time experimenting on cheaper cameras. I had used nicer cameras on occasion before this and been quite successful and I’ve been told by professional photographers that I’m talented… but when it comes to all the technical terms, I tend to get lost. 😛

      xanthuskidd responded:
      11 March , 2012 at 12:44

      That’s awesome. Self-taught photographers often turn into some of the best professionals. That’s pretty awesome that you got a Rebel for Christmas. 🙂

      I’m going to be taking some more (hopefully better) images soon. HDR really needs large contrasts of light, and Texas decided to get all cloudy and rainy for Spring break. They do get some cool sunsets here, though, so I hope to get some of those soon.

    Filman Santiago said:
    11 March , 2012 at 12:30

    great man! i also love photography. i always fascinated by
    hdr pix. you mentioned that it is just easy. those three factors i think can be easily done but the “how to combine” is my question. i’m currently having a nikon d60 and it’s been on the side for a while. perhaps now is the time to grab my dslr again. 🙂

    more HDR pix…

      xanthuskidd responded:
      11 March , 2012 at 12:48

      Thanks! here’s a link to a great tutorial on HDR photography. This guy uses ridiculously expensive cameras, but you can use anything that has exposure controls. http://www.stuckincustoms.com/hdr-tutorial/

      He recommends Photomatix, but it costs about $85 with the discount. You can use the trial, but it puts watermarks on the image. Here’s a link to a free program that harder to use but free. http://qtpfsgui.sourceforge.net/

    Flameheart said:
    1 April , 2012 at 01:51

    Ooh, I like!
    I love the Sanguine/misty sort of look of the photos. I’m also eager to experiment with HDR, when I have time…

    I also really love SLR camera’s. I only used one once though (don’t own one). The fact that they are film camera’s forces me to consider the photograph more closely, rather than just snapping a lot and hoping for the best.

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