Grand Ventures

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To those of you who are avid perusers and loyal followers of this humble internet web log, I am writing to inform you of an adventure upon which I am embarking. Two of my friends and I are traveling to the state of Arkansas, taking with us nary but that which we need to survive. Almost like the brave explorers of old, we are venturing into formerly uncharted areas and seeking to subdue the lands. I’m going camping. 

We are packing naught but a tarpaulin structure, supported by aluminum staves; a pack containing rations and other essentials, and perhaps a few spare garments. We may, perchance, let a fraction of the everyday luxuries accompany us, with the admittance of a cloth-bound volume or two, but our lives shall not be intruded upon by the presence of such trivialities as Facebook or Twitter. Indeed, not even this blog shall be assessable to me whilst I am away in the foreign realms. We’re tent camping and I won’t have access to internet.

In short, I shall not be around to post. Neither here nor on Assorted Pastries. In the interim of my departure and return, I would love to hear the accounts of your most memorable camping experiences. In return, I promise that you shall receive a narrative of some sort relating to the camping trip, as well as the better pictures that come of this venture. Tell me a story, and I’ll tell one to you. Even if you don’t tell me a story, I still tell one to you. 

I bid you good day,
~ Chris

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?