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Old Jun 15, 2010, 10:37 PM   #1
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Default HDR Woods

After thinking about Ned's dark forests and how beautiful his scenery is, I decided to see what I could do with my local woods. They are very different than his - different types of trees, much sparser and very little undergrowth. But I thought I'd give it a try to see what I could make of it, especially auto bracketing and using HDR to compensate for the huge dynamic range.

First, here's the middle exposure of the series, shot raw and converted with ACR using default settings and resized in CS4. I made no attempt to bring out any detail in the shadows, I could have but the shadows are so dark it would have introduced a large amount of noise:

This one is based on 5 different exposures taken 2 stops apart. The K7's auto exposure bracketing is capable of doing that - it gives you 5 exposures at Ev -4, -2, 0, +2, +4. I had been using raw+ (didn't notice the camera was set that way) so I took the 5 jpg versions and used Photomatix to merge them into one HDR picture.

It's not exactly the best HDR picture I've ever taken, a pretty boring pine tree, really. But I liked the backlighting. The shots were taken with the K7 and DA 12-24 lens.

Another HDR tree, this time taken last August. It was the first weekend I had the DA 10-17 and I was having fun with it. This picture is still one of my favorite HDR pictures for some reason that I can't put my finger on.

I find the woods to be a good place to auto bracket, it can be a very challenging place to photograph. I'll try to take some time to finish some of the other pictures I took Sunday, a couple of other ones were nice but a totally different topic.
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Old Jun 16, 2010, 5:41 AM   #2
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I love HDR, the surreal quality it has. It exists in both of your examples, though I might be tempted to make the sky a stronger blue in the first one by upping the contrast. Very nice !
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Old Jun 16, 2010, 6:13 AM   #3
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Nice shots,

it's that you said the last one is a hdr of I would have thought you where standing against some white reflecting rock when you made that shot.
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