>Day 047 – 02162011

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I have just finished reading an article in Outdoor Photographer magazine about Montana, known as the Big Sky State, and it inspired me to process one of my photos in HDR and then convert it to black & white. The photo above showing the coastal hills and storm clouds is what I came up with.

I created the HDR file using a single color raw file. Using Adobe Camera Raw, I created seven separate images, each of which had an exposure change of 1/2-stop and subsequently each saved as a TIFF.

All seven TIFF copies were combined in Photomatix Pro to create the HDR color file, which I saved as a 16-bit TIFF.

Finally, I opened this file in NIK Silver Efex Pro to convert it to a black & white image using the High Structure preset and adding a yellow filter to darken the blue sky (the red filter proved to be too dark).

Technical data: f/6.3 at 1/500th sec, ISO 100.

>Day 031 – 01312011

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Another one of my forays into HDR territory. This photo was taken during out latest hike along the beautiful Sonoma Coast while the rain clouds broke for a while. I do not know who the hiker is, however it caught my attention when I saw him all alone walking on the plain.

Using Adobe Camera Raw, I created six copies of the original raw file, changing the exposure value on each copy and saving them as a 16-bit TIFF. Subsequently I combined all the resulting TIFF in Photomatix Pro and chose the Fusion Enhanced preset. Lastly, the file was processed in Adobe Photoshop CS5 to improve the detail and to add the frame.

Note: I finally had the chance to use my Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM zoom lens and I absolutely LOVE it! It is a heavy lens, but used on bright light I was able to hand-hold the camera with this lens mounted on it and the Image Stabilization feature did a great job helping to eliminate movement blur.

Technical data: f/8.0, 1/500th sec, ISO 100.

Day 017 – 01172011

For those of us who live in America, happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration today!

Today I decided once again to fiddle with HDR because I have come up with mixed results during my latest experiments in this field.

I used here a photo I took of Yosemite Falls with the Merced River in the foreground. I underexposed the original photo to preserve the detail in the water and the clouds, however this action darkened both the bridge and the river areas.

Using Adobe Camera Raw, I created five separate files, each one with an exposure increase of 1/2-stop, and saved them as TIFF files. I also created one underexposed file in similar fashion. Afterwards I combined all the resulting TIFF files in Photomatix Pro and played with the Tone Mapping controls.

Technical data of the original photo: aperture f/8.0, exposure 1/80th sec, ISO 100.