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A Quiet Day

It has been a busy week here on this blog that today I thought I would just show an image and not talk much.  I hope you don’t mind.

This is an image I did a few weeks ago for Monochrome Madness, but in the end decided to use a similar image of this bridge that is near Kyneton in central Victoria.

Enjoy your day.

Up for Discussion – HDR Photography

Love it, or hate it, it seems to be everywhere at the moment, and has been for the last couple of years.  I did my first HDR image back in December 2011.  I believe this was the first HDR image I put on the blog.

schealesville_hdr1It would have been done with Photoshop, I didn’t get software for doing HDR until later.  I look at it now, as I do most of my early attempts at HDR and just cringe.  The colours are over saturated, they have a very surreal effect to them.  I am not sure that it is what I was after at all.

These, as I said, HDR is everywhere, some are good, some are bad.  I’m not saying which, but I thought we could talk about it here.

So what is HDR?

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range.  The idea of it, well my understanding, is that it will take the bright areas of an image and the dark areas and make an image that looks more like what we see with our eyes.  If you have an image, that has a very bright sky in it, behind a building or something like that, and when you take the photo the sky just takes over and everything else, like the building end up black, or a silhouette the an image like that is perfect for HDR.  You would take a series of bracketed images, so all taken at different exposures.  Then software like Photomatix Pro would take all those images, and make the best possible image.  I don’t know how it does it, but the dark areas will have detail and the light areas won’t be so blown out.

Let me show you in pictures.

This is the main dining hall at Montsalvat.  It is a very dark room.  You can see that looking at it now you can see what is out the window, but you can’t see what is inside.

This is the last photo of the bracketed shots, you can see a lot more detail inside the image now, but everything out the window is all blown out.

This is what the HDR software did to the images.  You can see both inside and out now.

When I first started doing HDR, I would make every image one.  I don’t do it anymore, and actually hardly seem to do it much now.  I find myself using single images, or if I do do a HDR I will only use part of the image.

When I look at images these days, I can nearly always tell if they are HDR, there are little things that give them away.  There is often a grayness to them, I’m told by Victor that is a lack of contrast.  There are often Halos, though halos can come from other things, but most often it is with HDR.

Victor Rakmil has written a post just recently on HDR Photography which you might like too.  He goes into the technical aspects of it more than me and gives more detail about what HDR is.

We were discussing it the other day, and something came up that I think is very true.  We think processes first and subject second, rather than trying to work out what is the best way to process an image to show the subject as its best.  It is something we can get bogged down with.  Rather than looking at a subject and asking if it would be better as a HDR, it is easier to just do it, regardless, which is where I used to be.  Now days, I’m more likely to still do the HDR, but then I compare it with just one image that I think is exposed correctly and ask myself which I think is better.  Often the HDR image is deleted.  The subject in the image always has to come first and then what is the best way to process it so the subject looks its best.

I’m coming down with a cold, so my brain is a bit scattered and I hope you can understand this post.  I just wanted to give you my views on HDR and explain it a bit better for people who don’t understand what it is.

Do you do HDR images?  What software do you use?  Do you do it for every image?  If you don’t do HDR then why?  Do you do HDR and then combine it with other images?

These posts are a great way to share knowledge, so please contribute.

I will approve them, as long as they are nice and not nasty in any way.  I am travelling home today, so I won’t be able to respond today, but I will try and get to them when I get home. I will approve them from my phone.

Feel free to respond or reply to other comments.  It would be good to generate some discussion.

A Lily in Black and White

While the Monochrome Madness Challenge has been great in getting me to do more black and white, I have to say I have done some before as well.  Okay not lots, but some.  Recently I was looking through something and I found an image that I had done some time ago, perhaps two years ago, and I had forgotten how much I liked it.

sclillies-2129-bwI loved how close and person you got with the tip of the lily.  I also really liked how you could see the textures on the flower too.  I just have always really like this composition and making the image black and white really seemed to suit it.

sclillies-hpm2023bwI am pretty sure this is the same flower, but from a different angle.  Again the black and white did just suit it.  It is one thing I do like about black and white, the way you just look at shape and texture, even mood.

My lilies in the garden are slowly recovering from the hot summer and I hope I will be able to start picking some soon and doing some photos with them.  They are such a beautiful flower to photograph.  If I ever get my extension tubes it will be fun seeing what else I can get with those.

This was meant to be a quick post today, I’m a bit tired, it has been a very busy seven days.  I am looking forward to do nothing, though I need to start working on some images from the Pink Lakes, which I am excited about.  It is also going to be a very foggy morning tomorrow morning, so I want to get out there with my camera, and capture some foggy images, maybe one will be perfect for MMC9.

Next Up for Discussion Post.

On Tuesday I am going to do a post on HDR photography for my Up for Discussion post.  I know many people have questions about HDR photography, so I am happy for you to submit your questions to me and I will put them at the end of the post, so hopefully some other people can give you answers, especially if I don’t know the answer.  If you have a question, email it to me and put HDR in the subject line.

As usual the gallery so you can look at the images individually.

Up for Discussion – Why We Blog

Yesterday, in a comment, someone said something about why people blog.  I thought it was a great idea to discuss this.  It is different for everyone and, if you are anything like me, those reasons have changed over time.  So I will start, this is why I blog.

I started blogging just over 4 years ago, but I started on another platform, but I did come to WordPress in September 2010.  Originally it started as a way to help me make art.  I was an artist but I was/am a lazy person and I need a push.  My good friend from Uni had started blogging to get her to create art, it seemed like a good idea, so I did the same.

SAMSUNGNot photographed very well, but a lino print I did from I photo I had taken at a cycling race.  I was back into photography then, but not totally committed.  I was trying to find some way to do both.

SAMSUNGI kept drawing.

bitsandpiecesI wanted to keep painting.

It was all getting too much, so in June 2011 I made the decision to stop doing art, as in anything like drawing or painting.  I had to concentrate on one thing, and get as good as I could at that, I chose photography.  It is a decision I have never regretted. I’m totally committed to it now.

20110103-1066I was still photographing cycling, but it wasn’t going to last for much longer.  Once I realised that I could still take photos of anything, I knew that I had to get back to some other things.

sctulips-hpm5613-7I really liked where my work was going and I really liked what was happening on this blog.  In the last twelve months my blog has grown a lot and I have wanted to share it with more people, I like doing the Introductions/Influencing Me posts, it is a great way to showcase other peoples work.  I like that it is becoming more a community sort of thing, and now with the Monochromatic Madness Challenge, it great to share the work of so many others.  It also helps to push me.

I think my blog is still about art, but my life as a photographic artist, and that is great with me. One of the most rewarding things about blogging has been the huge number of friends that I have made.  A virtual world wide group.  That has been so amazing, and now I chat with some on facebook and Google+, virtual friendships.

So why do you blog?  How long have you been blogging for?  Has your reasons for blogging changed since you started?

You can comment and tell us how, but if you have blogged about this already, or want to, then just leave a link in the comments section.

I thought I would share some random photos from the last few years.

Looking Back With 23 Days to Go

My Monday posts have always been about other people’s work besides me, and I had hoped to show you the work of another WordPress photographer, but she has not responded to my emails, so I was kind of left with nothing, and as no one has sent me any images, I thought perhaps today we will look at my work, so in today’s post I thought we might look at the Christmas photos I took last year.  I hope you don’t mind.

I am going to put them in a gallery for you.  I thought it would be interesting to look at them again and we can compare what happens this year with what happened last year.  I know some of the things are the same, but some are most definitely are not.

I have done something to my back, so I can’t spend too much time on the computer, so please excuse me if it takes longer to get to your emails than usual.

Rules, Rules, Rules

scfalls-0002bw1My latest post on Photographers.com.au is now up, I hope you will go and check it out.  It is about the rules that we follow or don’t follow about composition.

Please take a look, here is the link to the post

Rules, Rules, Rules  and it would be great if you could let me know on that blog what you think.

Can I just add, that all the photos in the post are from my film days.  One taken in my first couple of months of getting a SLR camera.

Weekend Wanderings – Revisiting Aireys Inlet

This past week has been busy and I haven’t been able to get out and take photos, well not the type of photos that I normally do for these posts.  I thought I would do another post on looking back at some older images.

It is almost two years since I first went away with a couple of my friends for a photography weekend and we have been away quite a few times since.  We are going away again in about 3 weeks, back to Barwon Heads, Ocean Grove, so I thought it was appropriate today to have a look at some photos from the first trip and a subsequent trip we took there.  We have been to Aireys Inlet twice now.

20110827-0007mnOne of the nice things about Aireys Inlet is that it is only about a 2 hour drive from Melbourne so you don’t have to stay there if you just want to take a few photos.  Though staying is good, and you can go to many surrounding places as well.

20110827-0047mnThe lighthouse is one of the highlights here, and like many lighthouses you can see it in all different directions.  This lighthouse is quite different to many along the coast, you can actually get up close to it without having to pay money.  Most that I have seen you can usually only see them from a distance and if you want to look up close to them, then you have pay some fee.

20110827-0135mnYou can’t go inside, but it is nice to be able to get a shot like this.

I was going to show the photos that I took the second time I went, but when I went back to look at them I was horrified to see that they were all HDR’s and not very good ones.  I sincerely hope I have got a lot better at doing HDR’s since then.  So I went back and just processed them as normal single shots.

LeanneCole-ai-3454It was nice to revisit the images I took.  If you love the ocean then this part of the Great Ocean Road is fantastic.  You often get to see the ocean in its very angry mood.  I love the coast in winter, it really gives you something different.

Here is a gallery with lots more images for you.  Some you might have seen before, and others you may not have.

I have my first client for my fine art portrait session this afternoon, hopefully it won’t rain.  It should be a great experience.  Enjoy your weekend.