Saturday, June 23, 2012

Raging Rivers

Thanks to 5 inches of rain the watershed along the north shore has filled the rivers. Here in Lutsen we have had little damage due to the immense storm that engulfed northern Minnesota this week. The heavy downpours have filled the rivers creating great photo opportunities. It is a great time to grab the camera bag and head north! 

Temperance River
Poplar River

Onion River

Everyday presents a new photographic keep looking and Shoot!

Friday, June 15, 2012

High Dynamic Range- HDR

High Dynamic Range photography is a great tool for high contrast scenes. Difficult exposures make us think and concentrate to bring all of our skills to bear. It forces us to become better photographers. It forces us into a critical thinking mode. I have been leaning HDR photography and love the options it gives us when a scene is too high contrast for one exposure. This shot is a great example. I had to wait for the sun to light up the waterfall. This waterfall is in a canyon where you must wait for mid morning sunlight. Timing here is the key. I took seven exposures with a HDR image in mind. I used a trail version of Photomatix which exceeded my expectation.  I began with an ISO of 125, shutter speed of 1/4 sec at F/22. I used hyper-focal distance of 8 feet for my Nikon 28-105 lens. Hyper focal distance is when you focus at a specific distance into the scene based on lens focal length to achieve sharpness from that distance through infinity. In this case at 28mm the recommended focus distance 5 feet. I then under/over exposed three shots on each side of my starting exposure keeping the F stop at 22 and varying the shutter speed. I then used Photomatix to produce the multiple exposure image. There is some ghosting due to the wind moving some of the leaves but overall the shot is sharp. Many HDR images are over the top in color and do not look real. You can produce art like images with the software too. I went for a more natural look here.

This shot I worked for a more art look. A five stop range again setting up for hyper-focal distance. I also used a 2 filter combination for a more dramatic sky. I combined a 3 stop graduated neutral density (GND) filter with a magenta filter.

 If you are interested in HDR download a trial copy of Photomatix @, then have fun with some high contrast scenes!
Every day presents a new photographic keep looking and shoot!