Posts Tagged ‘hdr’

Alone

November 29th, 2010

This is a shot from my archives. It was a test shot I made with my then-new 50mm prime lens. For some reason, I keep coming back to it.

So here it is.

What caught my eye was the way the light hit the cup. The scene is at one of the restaurants at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.

On another note, check out the following:

More coming soon!

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Graffiti Town – Part V

November 12th, 2010

This is the final (and long overdue) part in the five-part series on graffiti, wall art and tagging in Brussels, Belgium, and Barcelona, Spain. You can check out parts 1 through 4 here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

Barcelona is so graffiti-mad that you can even find cool post cards of the wall art all over town.

Seen from Park Guell looking out over Barcelona.

I’d love to know how they got all the way up the wall…

Voom-voom!

On a different note, some very different and amazing stuff lined up:

More coming soon!

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The Juignettes Church

September 12th, 2010

I was in the car, passing this church in Juignettes in Normandy, France, when the sun came out from behind a cloud.

I had to stop and make a picture.

More coming soon!

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The Chalet

July 12th, 2010

These are two shots I took of the inside of a good friend of mine’s chalet in the mountains of Lebanon at the beginning  of the year.

I initially tried to light the scene with two flash guns, but I was unfortunately unable to get the look I was hoping for, so eventually I opted to shoot with the express purpose of creating HDR images.

More coming soon!

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The HDR Debate

April 10th, 2010

Before I disappeared, a debate seemed to be raging online regarding the value of HDR imaging and techniques (or lack thereof, depending on which side of the debate you stand on).

It started with Dave Cross’s post called “The Debate Over HDR” and was soon followed by a response to one of the comments on that post by Scott Kelby (here’s the link to Kelby’s post). The various views and commentary were very interesting to me and led me to re-examine the reasons why I now enjoy HDR imagery.

The debate may have died down since the above-mentioned posts were published, but I thought I would share my two cents with you anyway.

Some time ago I really disliked the idea of HDR. I felt, like some commentators, that HDR was perhaps a way of rendering an otherwise uninteresting image interesting. In some cases I still say it may serve that way. However on the whole, as I’ve come to learn to use the effect and it’s uses and limitations, I’ve come around to changing my views. My friend Dan and his work gave the first push that got me on the way to converting. He was a big proponent of HDR way before I ever was.

I now sometimes do shoot something with the express purpose of creating an HDR image. And I occasionally even feel that some images work better in HDR; Sometimes, there’s no way to light a scene the way I would like to capture the image I have in my mind, and HDR is often of help to me there. In those cases particularly, it may give me a certain flexibility that could only be rivalled by an army of assistants and an inconceivable (for me) collection of speedlights and gels. That last is perhaps not a very practical option. Especially considering I’m mostly a shooter out on his own, with (maybe) one speedlight (and at most two) and no assistants.

That said, HDR and other tools at the disposal of the modern photographer are methods of expressing a certain vision of the world around us. So, is HDR less challenging? Yes, almost certainly. But does that make HDR less worthy? In this photographer’s eye – not always. Scott Kelby put it very nicely “HDR is an effect like any other effect”.

My two cents now spent, I propose to share with you images of two different subjects. Each subject has both an HDR image (created from 7 different exposures) and a “standard” variant. The aim being to showcase the large difference between the two styles as I’ve experienced them (and the different visions of a same subject that can thus be expressed).

The first two images below are of a tower of the Hili Fort in Al Ain. I prefer the subtler tones and shades of the “standard” photograph, but enjoy the striking quality the tone mapping has given the clouds in the HDR image, as well as the detail brought out in the walls of the tower. Those friends of mine I’ve asked have come back fairly equally divided as to their preference on this one.

The second set of images below is of one of the towers at the late Sheikh Zayed’s Palace, also in Al Ain.

In the “standard” photograph, to achieve the effect you see here I exposed for the sky and lit the foreground with an SB900 speedlight. Some of the light bounced onto the wall of the palace and its tower, giving it some detail instead of making it some sharp shadow against the twilight sky.

I very much enjoy both images, but my favourite is by far the “standard” image. That’s partly due to the colour of the sky, but it may also be a measure of pride – I used the limited gear I had at my disposal to get precisely the image I was aiming for.

The challenge of it, and the satisfaction of having achieved marks the “standard” image as special to me. By comparison, the HDR variant was not as big a challenge as it’s a significantly more forgiving and much more flexible process.

Your thoughts and comments welcome, as always.

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The Graveyard

February 6th, 2010

There’s a clearing in Abu Dhabi’s old Mina Zayed which doubles as a graveyard for derelict dhows.

I recently had the opportunity to explore it. Here are a few of the resulting pictures.

The mina (port) is gradually being torn down to be replaced by highrise hotels, office and residential buildings. The first signs of the changes to come are starting to be visible.

I guess the old must make way for the new.

I did some more experimenting with HDR this round. The HDR images below were created from 7 exposures each.

The light was just perfect. It was late evening and the sun was low on the horizon.

I loved the sunlight through the window.

The hull of one dhow was ripped open, the rusted metal sheeting peeling away from the wood planks beneath.

Most all the propellers of the derelict dhows were rusted black. This was the only one which still retained its original paint – a rusty red.

I’ll be posting a panorama I took of the graveyard soon.

Stay tuned for more pictures!

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The View from Faqra Club

January 31st, 2010

I was at a friend’s chalet in Faqra early one morning and took myself out onto the garden terrace with the aim of creating a panorama of the beautiful view.

Normally, at the time I made the pictures the entire mountain landscape should have been white with snow.

However, despite record rainfall this year (accumulated over just two or three separate rainstorms) up until less than 2 weeks ago there was little snow except on the highest peaks with the weather remaining much warmer than usual. The past week and some’s storms will have likely changed that some.

Click on the thumbnail below to view a larger image.

I used my Nikon D700 sporting a Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 lens and set on my trusty gorillapod. This image is created from 7 separate HDR images, each of which was created from 5 separate exposures. So that’s a total of 35 separate shots that went into creating this panorama.

More pictures coming soon!

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Mary's Wisdom

January 19th, 2010

Each time I pass near Sagesse University, in Furn-El-Chebbak, Beirut, I see this beautiful statue of the Virgin Mary. Each time, I’d tell myself I’d stop by and take a picture or two.

So the other day, I did just that.

This is an HDR image, created from 5 different exposures.

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The Forlorn Tractor

January 15th, 2010

The other day, I decided to go for a walk. As per my wont, I grabbed my camera and some gear and headed out.

At one point, I was passing through what is now a residential neighbourhood, but which – back in 1995 or so – was home to olive farms if not overgrown with weeds. Now, the only sign that there ever was something else there was this abandoned tractor left by the side of the road between two buildings. I couldn’t resist not shooting it.

I chose to continue my Lebanese experiments in HDR with these shots. Each shot was created from a set of five exposures.

More pictures coming soon!

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The Burnt Car

December 28th, 2009

Someone parked their old Volvo to the side of a tiny side street and then set fire to it. God only knows why. Insurance perhaps? That said, there doesn’t always have to be a reason why people do what they do. This is Lebanon, after all.

The carcass is visible from my window. I needed a break from work at one point and so I grabbed my camera and trusty gorillapod and went down to take a closer look.

I wanted to try some more HDR. Here are a few of the results. Each image below was created from 5 separate exposures.

Burnt Car-1 (D700, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 @ 50mm, f11, ISO 200 - HDR)

Burnt Car-3 (D700, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 @ 50mm, f11, ISO 200 - HDR)

Burnt Car-3 (D700, DR-5, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 @ 50mm, f11, ISO 200 - HDR)

Burnt Car-4 (D700, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 @ 50mm, f8, ISO 200 - HDR)

More pictures coming soon!

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