Tag : HDR

Another Nice Sunset

Another Nice Sunset


Another nice sunset…I

Here is an interesting example of exposure mixing that takes the image a little farther than simple HDR. With a normal HDR you use multiple exposures to capture the entire dynamic range of a scene. In this image I did that as well as get exposures at specific shutter speeds to capture the water in different states of motion.

When you are close to the shore there are two different views of the water. The shallow areas, where, if shallow enough, you can often clearly see the bottom, and the deeper areas that tend to reflect the sky. It can be hard to capture both these areas with a single frame. I opted to use shutter speed in combination with HDR the show both end of the spectrum. A short shutter speed to freeze the water so I could see through it to the bottom. A longer shutter speed to allow the current to blur the surface of the water and give it that glassy reflective nature. I have the detail heavy, sky, so I didn’t really want to have detail in the reflection of the sky in the water. This is good because using the long shutter also made the reflection blurry and painterly.

I then combined these two image sequences and did allot of manual blending so that the right areas were sharp and the others blurry. I have not quite finished blending, but for the purposes of this blog it was good enough.

Overall with this image I was just trying to put a little different spin on your good old sunset shot. Also, I am once again employing the ideal that an image with some surreal elements often is more descriptive than a direct copy of a scene.

Thanks for reading!!!



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NYC on a gray day in the winter…



I recently found myself in NYC wondering around with a couple friends. I, as I so often do, had my trusty Canon 5dmk2 with me and was casualy taking some pictures. I am fascinated by linear perspective(mostly because I was always terrible at drawing it) and there are few places that offer a better study in perspective than the tall buildings covered in glass and scafolding and the dead straight crosstown Aves of Manhattan. There is also a visual and spiratual hustle and bustle about NYC that is palpable, but not easy to capture in a single frame.

Capturing the tall building and their colors and textures was a job best done using the HDR (hi dynamic range) technique. I think buildings are very good candidates for the detail rich and cartoony look of a heavly processed HDR image. However, as i have probably mentioned before in this blog, i am not a huge fan of simple HDR captures of scenes. There are very good ones out there, but it is just not for me. Still, they are a great tool to keep in my digital tool bag, and truth be told if I am shooting any type of scene who’s subject is not directly a person, I generally try and capture multiple exposures to be used in an HDR if I need to later.

So, for this image I combined 3 exposures to produce the HDR. I then took the orignional image and combined it wtih the HDR. The road and all the vehicles are from a single exposure. I did this partly in order to freeze the motion of the traveling cars, but mostly because in HDR they looked so artificial that I just could not take the image seriously(whatever that means).

I spent a long time making the transition areas from normal exposure to HDR. These hours are impossible to see in this format, but I am hoping that when its printed large format, you will be able to hunt for along time before finding those areas.

New York City is probably one of the most photographed places on Earth, so creating a new and interesting image of this ultimate metropolis seems an impossible task. For me this simply means ignoring the fact that I am climbing an olympic mountain of prior artistic offerings, and focusing on creating something that satisfies my artistic sensibilities. The idea of trying to avoid completely any similarities with previous artistic works can be a paralyzing and devastating undertaking for any artist. Especially when referencing subject like love, evil, the human spirit, pain, happiness, exultation, piety, or any small island where 8 million individuals make their home.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you again next week.

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“Sun Bubbles”


Some of you have seen this image before. If you have, you probably know that there are two versions. This one is the version that shows up best on a computer screen. The other is more subtle and soft and will look fantastic printed on canvas in a large format.

This photo was taken at about 6am in MA and the water was very cold. I would like to thank Chris Bloom and Lauren Evans for agreeing to get up that early while on vacation, climb into cold water and put up with me asking them to hold various precarious positions while they tried not to look cold. Based on the final product they are both good actors because they were freezing.

I would also like to thank my assistants Taylor and Michael Bloom, as well as my lovely wife Megan, for dealing with me getting very cranky because one of my wireless flash triggers was not working. Oh, and getting up early and that whole bit too.

I had been planning to try and get some sunrise shooting done for several days, but was afraid to ask the folks on vacation with me to get up before the sun came up and indulge my artist obsession. It was completely unfounded fear as it turned out because everyone was on board from the word go.

This version of the image is the HDR version. HDR is the process of capturing scene by taking multiple exposures in order to capture a broad tonal range, and then combining those exposures later, with software. These type of photos can have a surreal quality to them that can make them look fake or like digital renderings. Depending on the situation they can be a very effective tool and I even like to use a normally exposed image in some areas and an HDR for other areas of the same final product. In this case though it is just HDR.

The pose was developed by the circumstances. in other words I had no idea what exactly i was looking for. We tried a bunch different things and finally we worked our way to this. This turned out to be one of those posses that looks completely different on camera than to the eye. In fact it looked like two almost random positions to the eye, but when compressed into two dimensions and onto a CMOS censor the compositions really flows.

The sun is obviously on the right side of the image and the “chi” of this image flows in an arc from the bottom left of the frame to the top right, the sun. Also from the foreground to the background. I added the lens flairs in post because I wanted the flow to be immediately apparent. To me they almost look like some sort of mystical tractor beam pulling the models towards the sun.

As I sit and write about it i have discovered several small  things I would like to change. They are minor, but I think that it is these minor changes that may be the difference between looking at this image one time and wanting to see at it often.

Thanks so much for reading.

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