Month: July 2013

HDR – Details, Paint & Upholstery

Chevrolet Grain Truck - Edmonton, Alberta

Chevrolet Grain Truck – Edmonton, Alberta

The late forties-early fifties Chevrolet half-tonne grain truck is subject for this image and with Automatic Exposure Bracketing moving toward a final image becomes an exercise in creating a high dynamic range (HDR) shot. For me, unless shooting people within an event, my practice in creating most photos is to work with a tripod in manual (M) mode and to set the camera for the three settings of Automatic Exposure Bracketing (AEB) – the regular or average exposure, an exposure a stop down (a darker, low key exposure) and an exposure a stop above average (a lighter, high key exposure).

Focus counts – the manual focus on my Canon EOS 60D allows me to focus upon that part of the image needing clarity, but it does so allowing me to focus upon that portion of the subject in three magnifications using the display on the back of the camera: first, what I would see through the viewfinder – normal magnification, next at 10 x optical zoom and then at 15 x optical zoom. Each level of displayed magnification allows me to adjust focus with greater and greater and greater precision. Stability also counts in focusing on the subject; the camera fixed to a tripod ensures that the camera does not move and that resulting images are tack sharp, free from blur.

Creating the exposure, creates not one, but, the three AEB exposures in succession ( – , 0 , + ) when the shutter button is pressed. After the exposures are brought into Adobe Lightroom, I am able to use HDR Efex to combine the three exposures into one image that allows the combined exposure to become an image accommodating greater range of light – more similar to what the human eye can see. I like the way Photomatix does HDR; but, NiK Software’s HDR Efex is a more stable and flexible program.

So, today’s image is an HDR shot. In the next few days my intention will be to try an HDR image that combines a larger number of exposures and to see what happens along the way. I’m reminded that the Shutter Time with Sid and Mac podcast has a couple of excellent pointers for HDR shots (somewhere between episodes 15 and 23). Mac and his wife Kasia would most likely have me using HDR for shots combining landscape, cloud-work and sunsets/sunrises. As well, Trey Ratcliff is the photographer who seems to have done most with HDR or at least has written most substantially (perhaps most helpfully) about HDR; two weeks ago he was in Vancouver and aiming to take on someone as protégé for an evening photographing the city, the water, the landscape and the sky from the top of a well-situated, tall skyscraper. It would definitely have been fun to hang out together for an evening creating HDR images – watch out for him on Twitter at @TreyRatcliff .

Listening to – Peter Himmelmann’s ‘Mission of My Soul.’

Quotes to Inspire – (1) “[…] That’s what HDR does. It adds details, paint, and upholstery to the Photograph. It’s still a photograph, but now enhanced [….] — GusDoeMatik (2) “To me, it is better to “guess” at how something works, experiment, fail, guess again, fail, and keep repeating that process over and over again until you either figure it out or you discover a multiplicity of other cool tricks along the way.” ― Trey Ratcliff

Waikiki – Dawn

Morning's Walk - Honolulu, Oahu, HI 1

Morning’s Walk – Honolulu, Oahu, HI 1

Morning's Walk - Honolulu, Oahu, HI 2

Morning’s Walk – Honolulu, Oahu, HI 2

Morning's Walk - Honolulu, Oahu, HI 3

Morning’s Walk – Honolulu, Oahu, HI 3

Summer, summer break – vacation … settling into a new time zone five hours different from that of my year’s norm finds me out of our hotel with camera and tripod early in the morning, walking, gathering photos of Honolulu’s Waikiki – the day of the surfer and vacationer (from all parts of the world) prior to that day beginning. Surprisingly, even before 6:00 a.m., surfing instructors are out on the beach, with early morning animation, drumming up the day’s business, ready to take out the novice surfer. Looking from the beach to the ocean, before 6:00 a.m., finds surfers already surfing on moving and curling waves and along trails of the Waikiki strip joggers are already jogging. People conclude their sleep in city parks where they’ve been sleeping through a tropically warm summer night on the grass. Looking towards the buildings, Waikiki hotels are being restocked in daily essentials prior to the day’s formal start, Coca Cola products included. All this occurs before the sun crosses the horizon bringing us into day – fodder for photos.

Listening to – Glenn Miller’s band perform ‘Tuxedo Junction’ and Satchmo sing Happy Birthday to ‘Poppa’ Bing Crosby.

Quote to Inspire – “Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.” – Ansel Adams

Fenced Barbed-wire – This Side

Chevrolet Grain Truck - Edmonton, Alberta 1

Chevrolet Grain Truck - Edmonton, Alberta 2

Chevrolet Grain Truck - Edmonton, Alberta 3

Chevrolet Grain Truck - Edmonton, Alberta 4

Chevrolet Grain Truck - Edmonton, Alberta 5

Chevrolet Grain Truck - Edmonton, Alberta 6

Chevrolet Grain Truck - Edmonton, Alberta 7

Chevrolet Grain Truck - Edmonton, Alberta 8

Chevrolet Grain Truck - Edmonton, Alberta 9

Chevrolet Grain Truck - Edmonton, Alberta 10

Chevrolet Grain Truck - Edmonton, Alberta 11

Chevrolet Grain Truck - Edmonton, Alberta 12

Chevrolet Grain Truck - Edmonton, Alberta 12a

Chevrolet Grain Truck - Edmonton, Alberta 13

Chevrolet Grain Truck - Edmonton, Alberta 14

Chevrolet Grain Truck - Edmonton, Alberta 15

Chevrolet Grain Truck - Edmonton, Alberta 16

Chevrolet Grain Truck - Edmonton, Alberta 17

In the week following school year-end and the beginning of summer school break, my wife, my daughter and I find ourselves in Edmonton. A Sunday afternoon becomes opportunity for me to look around Edmonton with fresh eyes, this city I knew as child and youth, this city I grew up in. In my travels, parts of the city receive spitting of rain from moisture-laden skies, stacking cumulus clouds pushed across Edmonton by substantial summer winds. Less windy and wet moments provide opportunity to use clouded skies as backdrop to architecture and landscape. I’m needing to fall into sync with the opportunity of/for photos and the cadence of parking and getting out of the vehicle for possible photos.

Alongside the Anthony Henday roadway near Callingwood Avenue in Edmonton’s west-end, in a farmer’s field, on the other side of fenced, barbed-wire an older truck is parked, a truck that is likely to be a 1949 Chevrolet half-tonne with grain box, a vehicle that if rehabilitated could become vintage and a classic. The intention, as I’ve watched through these ten years, had been to use the retro look of this vintage truck with the side panels of the grain box to advertise location of a knick-knacks store in this west-end community. That store no longer exists and no one has set about moving the truck or dismantling the grain box and advertising. Erosion – rain, sun, snow and wind – has brought the grain box down and rusting to the truck’s body and cab has added deep, rough, orange peel texture to this truck’s exterior … all becoming fodder for photos.

Listening to – Jack White’s version of a U2 tune, ‘Love is Blindness,’ and the Tijuana Brass – ‘Lonely Bull,’ ‘Spanish Flea,’ ‘Taste of Honey,’ and ‘Tijuana Taxi.’

Quote to Inspire – “We try to grab pieces of our lives as they speed past us. Photographs freeze those pieces and help us remember how we were. We don’t know these lost people but if you look around, you’ll find someone just like them.” – Gene McSweeney

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