More Experiments With HDR

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Once again, I have had a chance to play with a camera and Photomatix. I took the trusty Canon Rebel and went out to play with multi-shot HDR images and single image RAW tone-mapped images.

If you look closely into the seemingly bland sunset image of grass and shrubbery, you will see a rabbit hunkered next to the brush. He (or she) let me get within about five feet, and the rabbit stayed still long enough for me to about three long exposure shots, plus some quick images. Click here for a close-up of my furry friend.

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Have a great day!

Experiments with HDR

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I posted a week or so ago about HDR. I had a chance over the weekend on the camping trip to get some more pictures. These pictures were all taken with a cheap point-and-shoot (Fuji FinePix A610) and converted to HDR in Photomatix.

Using the method I did to take HDR photos, I needed to steady the camera for about 10-15 seconds–however long it took for me to take 3 pictures of the same scene. Unfortunately, I did not have a tripod here at school. Somebody’s trash solved my problem, though! While at the campground, I found a bolt laying on the ground that was a bolt on one side and a wood screw on the other. The bolt was the same size as a tripod mount! So I made a monopod out of my walking stick and used that for the pictures. +1 for innovation. 

I’ve created a Flickr account with my favorite pictures that I’ve taken. You can click this link to view the images in their original sizes, download, them, or scoff at my amateurishness.

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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?