I’m a fan of Stuck in Customs, Trey Ratcliff’s amazing HDR photos. There are those who decry what he does as “not realistic,” etc. but I see his work as artistic, creative and the colors are amazing. Wait, I already said amazing.
I lugged my tripod around Rockwood Park because if there was an opportunity to get an HDR shot, I didn’t want to miss it. If you don’t know what HDR is, it stands for High Dynamic Range. You can Google around to get more detailed info on the concept. When I got to the pond, I didn’t really see anything artistic about it, but there was this wooden dock across the way that looked like the most promising thing around. So I set up the tripod, plugged in my new remote shutter release cable to avoid shake at all costs (the only thing I didn’t set was mirror lockup, a feature new to me on the 40D) and took 5 identical shots. Identical except for the exposures. I used exposure compensation set at -2, -1, 0, +1, +2. Basically I got 2 underexposed shots, 1 fairly correct and 2 overexposed shots.
I brought all 5 into Photoshop CS3, and used the “merge to HDR” function which opens a new document and loads each of the photos onto a different layer in it. I don’t know enough about it yet to know if there’s anything more to it than that. I expect there is, because you can load multiple pictures into layers manually, whether they’re for HDR or not. But that’s as far as I took it, not knowing what else to do.
I then ran Topaz Adjust on it and this is my result, not in Trey Ratcliff’s territory but interesting:
[Edited to add] This is not displaying as vibrant as I see it on my computer, let me see if I can figure out what the problem is this time. Every time I think I’ve got this figured out, something changes.
I’ll have to play with it some more to see if I can get it anywhere near what Trey is able to accomplish. Of course, his procedure may be way complicated or it could be as easy as adding a couple of filters in Photoshop, you just can’t tell by looking at it.
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