Monday, April 25, 2011

My first HDR!

Okay, the short version is that I'd expected to spend much of the weekend preparing a supply of posts for the coming weeks, but instead got caught up with other things.

However, I did get a couple nighttime shots of the stained glass windows backlit at the Peace Tower Church on Bronson and MacLaren (formerly Erskine Presbyterian). As I normally do with nighttime shots, I took a few different exposures (since the camera's LCD screen doesn't reliably tell you if it came out right). But this time, I did something different from my previous nighttime posts...

This time I compiled a couple shots into an HDR (high dynamic range) photo! While I understand the concept—that you combine the dim parts of bright photos and the bright parts of dim photos to get a photo that isn't too over- or under-exposed—I thought you had to have a fancy camera.

Then a couple weeks ago Justin Van Leeuwen posted an awesomely vivid HDR shot of Bonkers Sports Bar in Hintonburg. The key is that he says in the description he did it with his point-and-shoot. So tonight as I was looking through the various exposures of this photo, I figured I'd try it out. Googling brought up this instructable on composing HDR photos with the GIMP. As a result, I don't have to choose between the shot where the stone is too dark or the one where the windows are overexposed. Now I wish I hadn't deleted the extra nighttime exposures from the canal this year!

While I prefer a minimalist approach to postprocessing (most photos I don't do anything to before posting them), only making adjustments to make things look more like they do with the eye, others like Chinatown's Robin Kelsey like to play around to show things in a way the eye can't, making frequent use of HDR, various light filters, and lately his fisheye lens.

As for why the single post instead of the promised longer one, I ended up taking about 400 photos this long weekend. Mostly of things around town--including many parts of Centretown not yet in my photo collection--and of the new Longfields station out in Barrhaven on my way back this afternoon from a family Easter brunch. I would have taken even more if I'd gotten to the Ottawa Congress Centre open house on Saturday, though it was pretty rainy most of the day anyway.

In essence, I spent most of the weekend taking photos and a bit of time sorting them, when I had planned to spend a lot of time assembling my sorted photos into posts to ensure a good supply for the coming weeks. As much as I'd like to do that today, the weather forecast is too good to be spending Easter Monday indoors! Out with the camera!

[Look for more one-photo posts under the label Singles]

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