Tag Archives: HDR photography

Goodnight Durban

“If there’s something you want in life, go and grab it with two hands and don’t let it go. Chances are, if you don’t take it, someone else will be more than happy to” – Unknown

Durban Nights copy (Large)

F14, 26 sec. ISO 100 Canon 6D.

Single RAW used to create three different exposures. Blended with Raya Pro by Jimmy Mcintyre; a super-easy natural blending panel for PS, read more at: http://www.shutterevolve.com/raya-pro-the-ultimate-digital-blending-workflow-panel-for-photoshop/ — in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

Raya Pro 2.0 is coming!

It was a hard slog at work this week and the comfort of a single malt was not awaiting me this Friday night… the dieting enforcer is in town!

Luckily I had something grand to look forward to… Raya Pro version 2.0 – the super efficient and powerful Photoshop plugin by world renowned Jimmy Mcintyre. If you know what HDR and blending are about then you will certainly know this Scotsman come exposure blending guru.

Version 1.1 had those “luminosity masks”, that some of us whisper about, made easy to understand with various other blending modes and many other useful post processing features. Read more here.

Version 2.0, soon to be released, has a host of other features which make this must-have plugin even more powerful and a .45 on the hip when navigating Photoshop especially in the landscape area (but I would be keen to shoot the inside of a mansion / building and test the images with Raya).

I tried the new Precision masks / Auto Dark Blend and “boom” out came an evenly blended image (I chose one of the 5/6 or so options / created masks it offered to suit my liking). I noticed a new feature called Fix Blend but will need the tutorial for that.

In summary that’s now five (5) different blending modes (if I’m counting correctly) in one plugin that has the potential to make any Joe Soap a master blender.

Jimmy always seems to mention image degradation (something the old style HDR software packages were good at doing) and his plugin clearly cruises the golden mile to effortlessly blend images without turning them into a horror that would make your blind grandma turn in her grave.

I’m sure Glen Phillips and chaps from FISHING DBN will enjoy this blended photo taken at sunrise on Poenskop looking North across the Nkadusweni River Mouth (it’s the favourite Port St Johns Tourism fishing spot of many a fisherman with tall tales).

poenskop-view-2017-copy-large

Base image F10, 0.5 sec. ISO 100 Canon 6D 24-105 mm L

Boulder’s Bay Surprise

Boulder's Bay Surprise (Large)

 

During our recent trip to Cape Town this was the first morning that we were greeted with lovely clouds and colours. We missed the pink sunset the night before and it was drizzling slightly at around 05:00 the next morning. We still decided to venture out hoping that the weather was a bit different on the other side of the mountain.

Wiki advises as follows: “Boulders Beach is a sheltered beach made up of inlets between granite boulders, from which the name originated. It is located in the Cape Peninsula, near Simon’s Town towards Cape Point, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It is also commonly known as Boulders Bay [1]. It is a popular tourist stop because of a colony of African Penguins which settled there in 1982. Boulders Beach forms part of the Table Mountain National Park.
Although set in the midst of a residential area, it is one of the few sites where this vulnerable bird (Spheniscus demersus) can be observed at close range, wandering freely in a protected natural environment. From just two breeding pairs in 1982, the penguin colony has grown to about 3,000 birds in recent years. This is partly due to the reduction in commercial pelagic trawling in False Bay, which has increased the supply of pilchards and anchovy, which form part of the penguins’ diet [2].
Bordered mainly by indigenous bush above the high-water mark on the one side, and the clear water of False Bay on the other, the area comprises a number of small sheltered bays, partially enclosed by granite boulders that are 540 million years old.
The most popular recreational spot is Boulders Beach, but the penguins are best viewed from Foxy Beach, where newly constructed boardwalks take visitors to within a few meters of the birds. It is also a popular swimming beach, although people are restricted to beaches adjacent to the penguin colony.”

Nik HDR Efex vs. Photomatix

Nik vs Photomatix 1-12-13 Desktop (Large)If you don’t know what HDR photography is then read here. It’s my healthy addiction.

The photos above are a result of my experimenting; the results of which I initially thought were conclusive.But, just when you believe that one software package is superior to the other, then you find that the “loser” is able is do something that the “winner” is incapable of.

Trial software can be downloaded here:

Play with both, try, experiment and then when you get to an advanced stage start thinking about manual blending without either software package. Christopher O’Donnell kindly offers a free e-book in this regard – click here.

Want to learn from one of the HDR masters I follow closely? Then click here to get some free tutorials from Jimmy McIntyre.