Trying HDR

So, I’ve been trying to do some HDR photography lately. It’s fun and frustrating at the same time. Truthfully, I vacillate between realistic looking HDR (High Dynamic Range) and “over the top” HDR. I love the drama of it!

The photo was taken near the Windy Ridge Viewpoint which overlooks Mount St. Helens. From the Windy Ridge Viewpoint you can really see the crater that was left from the explosion. This picture overlooks a valley near the blast zone that was decimated. The trees have grown back in but if you look closely, you can see the remnants of the trees that once were. They stick up out of the landscape like mammoth toothpicks. That’s the reason I call this photo, Valley of Bones.

For this picture, I used my tripod, so that I could take bracketed photos to later merge to HDR. I took a series of 3 photos for this shot, -2, 2 and +2 at ISO 100, using my 70-300mm lens. For those of you who might not know how to set your camera to take bracketed photos, you can find it in the manual for your camera or look on the internet. There are many different sites that give pointers on it. I just found one that looks really helpful. http://www.secondpicture.com/tutorials/photography/hdr_how_to.html

Once I had downloaded the bracketed photos on to my computer, I merged the 3 bracketed photos using Photomatix software and then did a few more touchups on the final picture, using Photoshop CS5.

Here’s my problem: I tend to want to just play around with the different functions in Photoshop without actually learning what they do first. Discipline has never been one of my strong suits. I feel that if I could discipline myself to really learn how to use the software, my photos would be much better. The other problem? I do the same thing with regards to my camera! Oh, I have the extra books to teach me how to use it properly and they are wonderful books, but you have to actually sit down and read them and practice, don’t you?

I have learned a few things, like bracketing and how to set my camera to take RAW and JPEG photos at the same time, to name a few things, but there is so much more to learn! As I said, I’m just a beginner.

That’s it for now. Time to go read some of my photography book!

Until next time: God Bless and Happy Shooting!

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~ by redplaidboots on September 11, 2010.

2 Responses to “Trying HDR”

  1. I love the name Eye Catcher…it certainly is. I also love redplaidboots…very original. The photo is amazing too. Keep up the good work and keep us posted on the adventures!

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