Another HDR Experiment

I like the artistic effect that I can get from processing my images differently – specifically HDR. Bringing out details in highlights and shadows can make an image have an entirely different feel, such as this one from February 2009:

This was taken in Port Severn. I was driving by on my way home from Family Day weekend which I spent in Sudbury. The sun was setting and I chose to get off the highway for a few minutes to try and catch the last rays of it. I think it turned out really well. The original image I took is this:

I personally love both images. 🙂

A Painting to Celebrate

Desi and I have made a wonderfully artistic tradition. Every January 14th, the anniversary of us starting to date, we make a painting together. Last year’s was the first oil painting I ever made, even in part, and it turned out great. This year we tried something a little different. I painted the bottom and Desi painted the top, and then we overlapped and contributed to the whole. Enjoy!

And for those daring, here is a larger version. I actually took the photo in segments, and combined them in a vertical panorama. The full version is 54 megapixel, perfect to reprint it if we ever want to make a copy. 🙂 What do you think of this tradition? I love it, and I am already looking forward to next year.

Just another winter morning

A day like today I usually make a point of sleeping in as late as possible. Today however, I set my alarm for before sunrise.

Winter isn’t my favoruite season, but it is quickly becoming one of my favourite seasons to photograph. Today I wanted to head to a few places before the sun was high in the sky. The first stop was just outside of town at Springwater Provincial Park – they have a small outdoor zoo with some interest animals. They were just waking up when I arrived, and this guy was quite vocal when I came into sight:

I admit it – I edited this one a little. I put the trees in the background, to make it a bit more natural looking than what looked like a dog house and a chain-link fence. It was tricky shooting through the fence in the foreground to get it to disappear! I think the shot turned out great. I went around and visited more of the animals, the deer were quite affectionate but unfortunately not very photogenic (they wouldn’t stay away from the fence, making it very hard to remove it from the picture). It was a great little walk and not a soul in sight at 8am.

Next stop was Milligan’s Pond. This is a small pond/creek area in Barrie that has flowing water in the winter, and as such attracts a lot of ducks. While I might have traveled here for the birds, I was more interested in the hoarfrost at the water’s edge:

The frost forms in areas of high humidity (the edge of a pond or creek is perfect for this) and melts quite quickly in the morning after the sun’s light hits it. I’m glad I got here just as the sun was poking through the trees, and lighting up certain patches of frost. The frost wasn’t just on the ground, but in the trees too:

Something I never noticed before – the dead needles don’t attract the frost. I wonder why! There are so many wonderful things to see on a winter morning. I was home with all of these photos before I normally even wake up. It has been a great day so far. 🙂

Europe Series: Cats and Dogs

In Eastern Europe there are many cats and dogs that live without homes, and our heart always went out to them. I photographed a few of them in our journey, some with stories and some that we were just passing by. In every case, however, they made us smile. 🙂

Experimenting with HDR

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range, a technique of combining images at different exposures to create an image with far more detail in the over-exposed and under-exposed areas.The technique is usually used with three or more different images (one over exposed, under exposed, and regular exposure), but it can be achieved through processing a single RAW image from a camera too.

For those of you whose eyes are glazing over or think I’m speaking another language, this is what I’m talking about.

Taking this:

…and ending up with this:

Pretty neat, eh? It shows you how much data is in a RAW image, that normally you don’t see. I find that half the fun is taking the photo, and half the fun is processing it. I’ll be playing around with this technique more in the near future, so let me know what you think of the results!

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