HDR or High Definition Range solves the age old problem of trying to get what we see in a photo. Since our eyes can take in a much great range of light and shadow than any camera the resulting photo can often have blown out a blown out sky or a shadow area that is too dark. One exposure can not possibly capture all of the tones that we see. With HDR multiple photos are taken at different exposures and then merged in post production. Even an iPhone has this feature. It takes three photos one darker one lighter and another average. It works pretty well and I would recommend it for scenic subjects. HDR does have a tendency to flatten images so a little increasing of contrast will help greatly ... All said, sometimes the best photo is still a carefully composed, well exposed good photo, but HDR has it's time and place . Bellow are a few HDRs taken on an iPhone 7 -
For maximum creative and technical control with HDR a DSRL is a big advantage. I use a Nikon D300. This also has the advantage of a much bigger sensor than in a point and shoot or smart phone, resulting in sharper images with less digital noise that can be printed large. For most subjects I will shoot three images, one a stop too dark, one a stop too light and one in the middle. For some subjects I will go up to five different exposures. This is where things start to get tricky. While this can all be done in Photoshop, I've found HDR dedicated software much easier to use, One of these is Photomatx Pro 5, but there are plenty of new ones out there. Bellow are a few examples
Getting fancy with five separate exposures - This was a tough one to get any other way. If you look at the photos you see if the sky comes out the building goes dark. If the building is exposed right the sky gets blown out,,,This is a perfect candidate for HDR. Photo Nikon D300 Tokinoa 11-16 f2.8 - set at 11mm of Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church in Maryland during a stunning concert of the DC Flutes.
A collection of HDR images...Enjoy...
Winter is on its way out up north in Lac Saguay, Québec as the ice on Lac Allard melts creating an etherial fog.
Some events just scream for photos, and this was one of them. Local "hula hoop queen", Amanda Walden told me about her group dancing with LED hula hoops at Bath Dance works...Tech Info: Shooting was done with a Nikon D300 with external Nikon Flash SB800 on a Bogen studio tripod with 17-55 f2.8 lens @200 ISO - f8 set with open shutter using remote firing button....Yeah not easy but it was worth it!
Took a hike on Popham Beach (just outside of Bath, Maine) a great day to watch a sunset on the ocean and a great day to live in Maine!
Sometimes a standard size photo just doesn't capture the entire feeling or vastness of what's in from of the camera, this is where panoramic photography comes in. Over the past few years this has gotten easier and even iPhones can be used to capture a wide image but for ultimate resolution I have found that my large DSLR still works best since it allows for maximum control. I use my Nikon D300 on a large Bogen tripod. OK this can get heavy, so when hiking I have found the small Fuji X 10 on a travel Dolica Proline travel tripod works best. Bellow is a gallery of some of my panoramas
For commercial work I use a Nikon D300 body (With Nikon D100 for Back-up) For lenses I use a Nikon AFS 17-55 f2.8 and Nikon AFS 80-200 f2.8. (I recently got rid of the 300 f2.8) For on location flash I use a Nikon SB800 and SB 600 Flash (with SB80 and SB24 flashes for Back-up) or two constant light fluorescent soft-boxes.
When hiking or just shooting for fun or travel, I found this combination way to heavy and unwieldily so I decided to switch to using a much smaller and lighter Nikon D40 with AFS 18-200 f3.5-5.6 lens and Nikon SB600 flash. Using one "do it all" lens is much easier, since changing lenses in the winter or on water could be disastrous. This combo also makes me more likely to just throw the camera in the car, around my neck, or in a backpack, resulting in many more images.
Well, that all seemed like a great idea until I tipped over in kayak with my D40 and lens. While I eventually dried them out and they now work I decided on another rout, a small mirror less retro rangefinder. The Fuji X10 proved to be just the ticket and it easily fits int a baggy when on the water. It is also less conspicuous making it great for city "street" photography. I now use this camera for most of my travel and city photos and so far have been very impressed with the results.
Proof that one should not wait for perfect weather or optimum conditions to take photos. Shot this while in the passenger seat driving through a foggy, rainy Chicago. The fog created a unique contrast between for and background and the light posts took on a sort of "War of the Worlds" quality.
Green screen technology gives me the ability to change the background at will and to work with a clients wildest background wishes from the great outdoors, classic backgrounds or even sci-fi fantasies
One of the most dynamic places anywhere, New York can also be a challenge to photograph. Traveling on a subway with an arsenal of photo gear is not advised and setting up a tripod in traffic is not such a good idea either. In fact, just stopping to get a photo in human traffic can get you bumped into. or worse, growled at. It was like this when I was running around with a camera in the 70's and not much has changed in the "hustle and bustle" category. For these reasons and the shear fatigue of walking around with pounds of equipment, I went with a street style form of photography utilizing a small " style Lieca like retro style camera, a Fuji X10. This allowed me to not only get photos on "the fly" but allowed me to be less intimidating and intrusive. This is the attraction as well as difficulty of "street photography" that still thrills me the way it did over 40 years ago. Bellow is a gallery of some of the photos captured in the big apple.