The irony of HDR is I believe the negative feeling or perception of HDR is due to the software companies own ghastly presets and marketing their product as a one stop shop! Having said that though, I also believe that a vast majority of photographers trying their hand at HDR are newer photographers. That is to say that the more seasoned photographers (And I am generalising here) are more likely to have negative feelings towards HDR.
The reality is that it would be a rare occasion that just HDR processing on it’s own will deliver great results. That is why I use photoshop as my final ‘finishing touches’ (you can read about my HDR Process HERE)
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. At some stage I am going to have to do more research as I am interested in learning more. From my brief research, I have learnt that the human eye can capture 3 to 4 more times the dynamic range than the camera sensor can. And our eyes send the info to our brains, and our brain is responsible for picking the best ‘pixels’ for the final image to make sure we see as much as possible. How many times have you been watching a sunset and you excitedly take photos only to be disappointed with the result? Me too… so when I discovered HDR I was hooked!
Why use HDR? This photo is a classic example of why I use HDR. I stood inside this sandstone structure by the harbour and the detail was amazing… the view was “oh wow” and I wanted to capture every aspect of the light, the detail and convey a sense of standing there. To get enough light information to complete this image took 7 exposures. The first was at -3ev, and it captured the bright, brights… and the last exposure was +3ev, and that captured detail inside the sandstone structure I was standing in… the end result… one of the most popular images I have processed HDR to date… enjoy!
Why use Photoshop? I was asked… and my first response was… why not? Then I thought, it’s a great question… am I using photoshop when I don’t have to, or worse still… when I shouldn’t?
So I sat and pondered for a while, and came to the conclusion that I like photoshop for several reasons…
1. I shoot RAW… I love shooting RAW! It means I can be an old bugger that forgets to change settings on my camera and I can fix it all later… in photoshop!
2. I like things clean… If I had a choice between shooting a piece of rubbish and not shooting a piece of rubbish, I would rather NOT have a piece of rubbish in my shot, unless of course, that piece of rubbish was instrumental in telling a story, then… bring on the rubbish! Guess what I use to get rid of the rubbish… yep… photoshop. I get rid of cigarette butts, paper, leaves, anything that is distracting in my shot… heck, I just finished removing popcorn off the steps inside the Opera House… who wants popcorn scattered through the shot (Once again, unless it is instrumental!)
3. Did I mention I shoot RAW… yes I do…. and I love it!
4. My camera sux… and so does yours! – yep.. I have spent thousands of dollars on my D800 and it sux! It does’t always get the colours, the contrast or the emotion… oh, and it can’t clean up like I can in Photoshop… see, it sux!
I am happy that I use photoshop, and I say it is okay to do so… I have been told by one too many naturalist that it isn’t photography… I still have go and capture the scene… I still need to be there for the right light… I still need to know how to use my camera… and best of all… a stack of people like my photo’s!
Anyway, this post has turned into a bit of a rant… maybe I should get just as upset with the people that don’t use photoshop!
So… to finish up… it is rare that I share with you, a BEFORE and an AFTER shot… but I am going to do just that. After I process an image in Photomatix… it is messy. Just like this one! I took this inside the Opera House during the Elia Locardi Blame the Monkey photowalk. A lot of the crowd had moved on, and myself and Elia were just hanging back to get a shot with as few people in as possible, in fact, I took 20 exposures in total so I had plenty to choose from when I got them into Photoshop.
In the before shot you will see ghosting, there will still a few people getting around, there is a boat screaming past outside, the purple carpet is going blue… the whole image lacks contrast, the black paint is peeling off the ceiling and there is popcorn on the stairs… plus a whole bunch of other little things that bothered me.
Here is the after photo… you be the judge!
After many late nights and a lot of hours of mucking around, in just 14 days I have moved the entire site to a new server and had the whole thing redesigned from the ground up! My website can now be viewed on ANY device… that means that you can be on your iPhone, iPad, Smartphone, Smart TV or whatever device, and on3legs will automatically adjust to give you the best experience! It also knows if you have a new Retina Display and will give you a Pixelicious time (I think I should trademark that!) – try it for yourself… resize your browser and you will see that everything will shuffle around to keep you happy!
I have also had the entire thing re-branded. I hope that this makes your experience here better!
This morning I decided to head back to a location I have not been to for nearly a year for sunrise, Blues Point. It’s a favourite of mine for sunrise because with the right conditions the Harbour comes to life. I am pretty happy with what I captured this morning… a little test for you… is this HDR or a single exposure??
Sorry for those of that tuned in… I only managed to show you one screen during the whole Topaz Adjust demo… and it was my stupidity as I had selected the wrong screen to share. The good news is that I have now worked out exactly what needs to be done and it wont happen again… I promise!
I have re-set the date for this broadcast to Wednesday 13th February at 9:00pm AEDST (UTC/GMT +11 hours), if you’re on the other side of the planet you most likely be pushing out Z’s at this time, no need to worry, it will be recorded and will be available on my YouTUBE Channel.
See me use Topaz Adjust to add amazing detail and life to a photo… I will be going live at 9pm Australian EDST (UTC/GMT +11 hours) on the 13th February 2013 – stay tuned for the link… I will post it a few minutes before showtime!
I have so many images from my trip to this place… every corner I turned I found a photo!
See me use Topaz Adjust to add amazing detail and life to a photo… I am trying out the new G+ Hangout feature with Live streaming on YouTUBE. I will be going live at 8pm Australian EDST (UTC/GMT +11 hours) – stay tuned for the link… I will post it a few minutes before showtime! Let’s hope it all works… if it does, you will get to see me using Topaz Adjust to add the final touches to one of my images LIVE! If it doesn’t… you will have to go back to Masterchef and the Big Bang Theory
Sometimes when I am waiting around I wil go into the newsagency to see what magazines they have, and I usually find myself at the photography or aircraft section. Well, this week I bought the Ultimate Photoshop Course. It is a $16 magazine, and I thought, why not? I just need one nugget and I have my money’s worth. Most of what was in this magazine I already knew… it seems it was quite basic… but I got my nugget! It’s not something you will see often from me, but it was a little bit of fun. There was this section on how to create a photo planet, I know what you’re thinking… I could have just googled it… yeah, I guess so! Anyway, I decided to turn one of my Sydney Skyline shots into a photo planet. Because the end result is square, they would make great website thumbnails…