High Dyanmic Range Photography

Battle of the HDR Photo Tips Round 7: Ratcliff vs. Sammon

Photograph by Trey Ratcliff
It's Round 7 – the final round of the week-long Battle of the HDR Photo Tips: Trey Ratcliff vs. Rick Sammon. Thank you all for sharing in the HDR fun this week!

Trey Ratcliff is some dude on the internet that runs Stuck in Customs. His mom visits his blog every day. If people leave bad comments, then his mom gets 'em.

Rick Sammon was at Woodstock and still tries to maintain the PLJ feeling of the '60s. He also dived in Lake Baikal, Sibera, where he photographed the nerpa.

Here we go:

Ratcliff: We have an area of StuckInCustoms.com called The Clubhouse (people that get the video above get access) — I asked members in there to add their favorite short tips, and here they are a few:

Alex Suarez - “When shooting from a tripod, I like to hang my camera bag from the center column. Adding this extra weight firmly plants my tripod, further reducing the chance of camera shake.”

Marc (marcp_dmoz) – “If you are shooting in low light conditions and you can’t use a tripod, switch ‘Auto ISO Sensitivity Control’ on when bracketing for HDR.”

Eden Brackstone – “Never process your shots the same day you take them, allow your creative energy to build up and apply it when you will get the best results. Then, wait some more and revisit it. Ultimately, a late and well processed image is more valuable than a rushed one that you regret…”

And here is my last tip for the "battle" with Rick: “Practice RAW HDR processing a lot… there are countless moments that just don’t happen in brackets (like the photo above).”

Did you miss my the other tips?  Here they are, listed out:

Photograph by Rick Sammon
Sammon: Put the viewer in the scene. One way to accomplish this goal is to use a strong foreground element. Also, it's easier for the view to picture himself or herself in scene if everything in the scene is in focus – just like a scene looks to our eyes.To accomplish that goal, use a wide-angle lens, small aperture and focus 1/3 into the scene.

For this shot, set up my tripod in the back sat of this old car and held very very still while I shot.


Hey! I don't have a Clubhouse like Trey, but I do have a flickr group where photographers can share their work. Click here to join the HDR fun!

To recap the entire "battle," just type in Battle of the HDR tips in the search window of this blog.

• • •

To learn more about Trey's HDR work, click here.

To learn more about my latest HDR project, Rick Sammon's HDR Portfolio iPad app - a how-to app packed with tips, click here.

Thank you Trey for agreeing to the "battle," and thank you all for joining us ringside.

Explore the light,
Rick

Battle of the HDR Photo Tips Round 4: Ratcliff vs. Sammon. Today: Time.

Photograph by Trey Ratcliff
It's Round 4 of the week-long Battle of the HDR Photo Tips: Trey Ratcliff vs. Rick Sammon. Thank you for joining us ringside.

Hey, if you want to have some fun, do a Google search: I hate HDR. Post a comment here on my blog. Let us know what you think.

Trey Ratcliff is some dude on the internet that runs Stuck in Customs. His mom visits his blog every day. If people leave bad comments, then his mom gets 'em.

Rick Sammon was at Woodstock and still tries to maintain the PLJ feeling of the '60s. He also scuba dived in Lake Baikal, Sibera, where he photographed the nerpa.

Here we go:
Ratcliff: Most of the time, when you shoot HDR photos, you’ll be taking multiple exposures. So, you often end up with the old “ghosting” problem in which an object changes its XY across the plane.

I contend that you don’t have to worry about that if you want to give the impression of time flowing. This bleeds into my discussion about impressionist feelings within photos. Yes, photography is about stopping time, normally, but it doesn’t have to be.

If you are taking an HDR of a moving river or flowing steam (like below), then I like to allow the ghosting to remain. It gives a feeling of movement and time, and that’s a nice thing to communicate in a photo.

Photograph by Rick Sammon. We shoot here on my Croton Creative fall workshop.
Sammon: Uh.... I totally agree with my buddy Trey. :-)

In addition: 

• When trying to capture moving water, clouds, mist and fog (and even car lights at night), use long shutter speeds - maybe between 2 and 10 seconds. Experiment with different slow shutter speeds, because the speed of moving water, clouds, etc. is not always the same.

• Of course, you'll need a tripod when shooting at slow shutter speeds.

• Use a cable release or your camera's self-timer, so you don't need to touch the camera when the shutter is released. Mirror lock-up is a feature that can help you get sharp shots for long-exposure photography.

• Want a really cool camera controller for HDR? Check out the Promote Controller:

 

 •  • •

To learn more about Trey's HDR work, click here.


• • •
To learn more about my latest HDR project, Rick Sammon's HDR Portfolio app for the iPad, click here.

Explore the light,
Rick

P.S. I just doubled the HDR fun!


Canon 5D Mark II Monument Valley Post #1


Hi All!

Mr. HDR here! :-)

Just a quick note from Monument Valley. There is a time and place for HDR. Here are two shots from today. Straight shots. No HDR.

My point of this post: There is no substitute for great light and a GREAT subject.

I took both of these pictures with my favorite landscape lens: Canon 17-40mm.

Explore the light,
Rick
P.S. Yup! More HDR images to come in my next book, HDR Secrets. Might be ready for Photoshop World in Orlando! Be there or be square!

5.23 Saturday Photoshop Mini-Session: Play With HDR Plug-ins

This week's tip: Play with HDR Plug-ins.

Two of my favorite HDR plug-ins are Photomatix and Topaz Adjust.

Photomatix

Photomatix, a very popular HDR program from HDRsoft, is both a plug-in and a stand-alone application. First, you take several pictures over, under and at the correct exposure with your camera mounted on a tripod (set to the aperture priority mode) and fired with either the camera’s self-timer or a cable release to avoid camera shake.

Then you use Photomatix’s Detail Enhance and Tone Compressor, along with the options in their sub menus, to create images that go way beyond the recording capabilities of a digital camera’s image sensor. I used Photomatix to create the top HDR image.


Topaz Adjust


Enter the Topaz “Twilight Zone.” Topaz is relative newcomer to the world of High Dynamic Range (HDR) image making. It offers an easy, not to mention very effective, method for creating a HDR image.

Topaz Adjust allows you to create an HDR image using only one image (if the contrast range is not too wide), as opposed to most other HDR programs that combine several images over, under and at the correct exposure. I used Topaz Adjust to create the bottom HDR image.

Check out my mini-movie on HDR at the bottom of this post.

Want more HDR info on Photomatix and Topaz Adjust (and on plug-ins in general)? See the Plug-in Experience. Check out the how-to page for info – and discounts.

Love that HDR? I'd be interested to know which HDR plug-is/programs you use – and why.

Best,
Rick
P.S. If you live in the NY area, I will be giving my full HDR presentation at B&H on June 14 at 1 PM: presentation and demo. Link on my workshops page. Yes! I teach HDR on my workshop. Great fun.

Each week I will try to post:
• Monday’s Inspirational Message
• Two Tips For Tuesday
• Where in the World? Wednesday
• Photo Thought for Thursday
• Friday Fun Photo
• Saturday Photoshop Mini-Session
• Sunday Speedlite Secrets

Subscribe to my blog and join the fun.