Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Blending Techniques

Barksdale's Brigade, originally uploaded by Cocoabiscuit.

This photo, an infrared HDR shot of the Mississippi Monument in Gettysburg National Historic Battlefield Park blends a variety of techniques. First, it was shot with an infrared converted Nikon D70 so that they only light hitting the sensor is in the infrared spectrum. That gives the white grass and leaves and the enhanced darkness of the monument stone. The cottony quality of the sky reflects early morning with a combination of low sun and the fog not totally lifted.
The second technique is HDR with 3 shots taken: one overexposed to bring out the features in the statue and the house that was in the shade, one normally exposed, and one underexposed to bring out the texture in the sky. I used a tripod to keep all of the images aligned. combined the images in Photomatix, and did more work in Photoshop for the final effect. They were shot at f/16 with shutter speeds of 1/40, 1/80, and 1/160 respectively at an ISO of 400.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Add dimension, find an interesting angle...

HMS Barn, originally uploaded by Cocoabiscuit.

When shooting during travel photography, there's a natural inclination to try to document what you have seen by lining up right in front of it and clicking the shutter. Voila, an image that anyone could have captured and one that is immediately recognizable to someone casually walking by. Ironically, though, by documenting you may not be informing. Try finding a more interesting angle, from above, below, obliquely, etc. In these two images, both of the same barn near Norwich, NY, the first one is a straight on shot, but the second, I think, is a more interesting angle and shows much more depth. Photographers have the option of going for a higher angle (use a ladder, climb a tree) or lower (lie on the ground). In this case, I was lucky and just walked down the small hill leading up to the barn. Remember, with any shot, you make choices about what to include and what to exclude (in this case, by choosing this angle, you lose the silo).
Both of these photos were shot with a Nikon D300, f11. 1/125 sec and 1/160 sec respectively, ASO 400 with a wide angle lens, 18 mm and 27 mm respectively. The images were then processed in Photomatix for an HDR effect. The bright sunlight and interesting clouds were luck.