HDR photography if you have never heard of HDR

My HDR 1 was rock-bottom shocking (in a funny way). HDR 2 was an improvement. Since then I have developed a healthy addiction to HDR and post-processing (see Andy Confesses here). Most of my recent photos on this site are HDR or at least a fair attempt.

I am still on a big learning curve and the next goal is to become well-versed in Photoshop (I know a few basics only). One of my favourite artists in this field right now is Jimmy Mcintyre – click here. Plus Art Hakker also always grabs my eyes.

This post is dedicated to my beautiful life-partner who often wonders why I disappear from home for a few hours with my camera and then return home, only to sit in front of the computer for a few more hours.

The state of “meditation” I achieve staring at, fixing, mixing and creating the photos is very important to me. It nurtures and calms my soul. Nothing else is important at this time; neither pleasures nor worries.

To save time, let’s use Wikipedia’s explanation of HDR. I will also insert my set of images (only displaying 3 of the 9 used – exposures +4 to -4, ISO 100) and the final results (one shown below).

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The final results were achieved in 1.5 hours (post-processing time after the 9 photos were taken off the camera and loaded on the computer). Still lots of extra skills needed and I will have fun acquiring same in the years to come.

“High-dynamic-range imaging (HDRI or HDR) is a set of methods used in imaging and photography to capture a greater dynamic range between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than current standard digital imaging methods or photographic methods.

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HDR images can represent more accurately the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, from direct sunlight to faint starlight, and is often captured by way of a plurality of differently exposed pictures of the same subject matter.

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HDR methods provide higher dynamic range from the imaging process. Non-HDR cameras take pictures at one exposure level with a limited contrast range. This results in the loss of detail in bright or dark areas of a picture, depending on whether the camera had a low or high exposure setting. HDR compensates for this loss of detail by taking multiple pictures at different exposure levels and intelligently stitching them together to produce a picture that is representative in both dark and bright areas.

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HDR is also commonly used to refer to display of images derived from HDR imaging in a way that exaggerates contrast for artistic effect. The two main sources of HDR images are computer renderings and merging of multiple low-dynamic-range (LDR)[4] or standard-dynamic-range (SDR)[5] photographs. Tone mapping methods, which reduce overall contrast to facilitate display of HDR images on devices with lower dynamic range, can be applied to produce images with preserved or exaggerated local contrast for artistic effect.

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It’s gonna take some comparing

It’s gonna take some comparing to tell if the first set of photos at this location HDR 3 (high dynamic range) final have been improved on.

So if you have a minute, click on HDR 3 (high dynamic range) final, view the photos and then look below to see if the last 2 months of dabbling in HDR has reaped any positives (the quality of the HDR not the shot or view).

I’m using a Canon 550D with standard 18/55mm. Just discovered Magic Lantern to get more than 3 bracketed shots at once.

I leave ISO at 200, the F-stop is set depending on what the camera auto sets on AUTO mode (I gauge then set back to AV). I focus with auto then set back to M before shooting. The stabilizer is OFF.

Photomatix is my processing friend.  

Let me know what you think – I love hints and advice from any experts out there.

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Queensburgh Plant Sales (QPS)

A few weeks back I had to go and collect an item in Queensburgh.

Luckily, I had my faithful Canon 550D with me when I stumbled upon some lovely machinery in a valley.

I could not help myself and had to pull over and take some photos from the roadside.

The business was closed at the time but this did not stop me from investigating what QPS (on the roof of the building) stood for and how the business originated.

The owner’s secret, which I really like, is “Hard work, integrity and service excellence – Lots of hard work!

The QPS website reveals the following information and more:

Three hundred rand was all it took to start Queensburgh Plant Sales 30 years ago.

Roger Thorne, who already had many years of practical and management experience in South Africa and abroad by 1977, saw a need for the reliable supply of quality second-hand machine parts and spares for earthmoving equipment, something that was not then being met in the market at the time.

Today, Queensburgh Plant Sales has an extensive range of new and used spares for many makes of earthmoving equipment and machines including Galion, Komatsu, Caterpillar, Clark / Michigan, Hanomag, Hitachi, Detroit Diesel / GM Engines, Aveling Barford, Volvo, Hough, Case, Bomag, Dynapac and JCB to name just a few!

Their customers range from one-man businesses to municipalities and earthmoving companies throughout southern Africa and even as far as Australia. With the earthmoving sales industry being very dynamic, Queensburgh Plant Sales always strive to ensure that the latest technologies are available to its customers.

As to the secret of his company still being in business after 30 years, for Roger Thorne the formula is not complicated: “Hard work, integrity and service excellence have kept us going,” he says and adds with a laugh, “lots of hard work!

Maybe if Roger likes the photos below he will invite me over to take some super closeup photos of QPS’s quality second-hand machine parts and spares for earthmoving equipment.

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HDR 3 (high dynamic range) final

HDR 1 was rock-bottom shocking (in a funny way)..

HDR 2 was an improvement.

Now (HDR 3) is hopefully the last time for some time that I will use this particular title (HDR).

I am a lot happier (ecstatic) with the results from my mini-expedition today.

For now the photos look good enough for my eye and that’s so important. I’m really hooked baby with these “comic book paintings” of mine!

Jayden Miller’s post on HDR, which I read before going outside, gave me just that little bit more info that I needed.

Trey Ratcliff and Photomatix website had already given me a good foundation.

Let me know which one of the following photos you like if any.

Once again, any criticism together with advice on how to improve will be appreciated.

 

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