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Ancientritual Mar 10, 2010 4:28 PM

Old Courthouse HDR
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This is a 5 exposure HDR. What is unique about this image is the time difference. First 3 shots were taken around sunset (+0, -1, -2). The purpose of this was to retain sky definition. Only one problem. The lights on the courthouse were not on. Thus a 45 minute delay between the first 3 exposures and the last 2. By then the lights on the courthouse dominated the remaining natural light. In fact the sky was by then clear and pretty much black. By overexposing the last 2 shots, the lights on the courthouse were able to contribute to the final image. I have done several of these type of photos and have found Dynamic Range HDR to be the program of choice. Photomatix has problems in the sky area when dealing with such a time difference. There ways around this, but then you are dealing with extra steps just for that photomatix look.

Walter_S Mar 11, 2010 12:53 AM

That's a 'dream-like' scen and I love it.
Very saturated colors and beautiful tones on those blue roofs and the green cupola, together with the varying color-reflections in the buildings behind, they create a special athmosphere of warmth and friendly mood. I would have liked to see some more of those magnificently lit pillars of the courthouse.

Well done!

mtngal Mar 11, 2010 2:53 AM

An interesting picture! I agree that Photomatix does have problems sometimes with sunsets, while dphdr doesn't seem to. You've chosen to process this with a fantasy look and it comes off very nicely. I know that others won't like it because it's not "realistic" but I do. It's interesting what decisions we make processing our pictures, I like the ones you made, but if I had been doing it, I wouldn't have used as saturated colors as you did. I suspect that your choice is the wiser one for this particular picture. It is a lovely building, besides.

Ancientritual Mar 11, 2010 8:05 AM

Thank You for your comments. Photography at times can be very subjective and yes at times I tend to favor the art side of things. I remember 25 years ago when my work was accepted for a gallery showing, a wise old man told me, it is not what you think is right, it is what your audience wants. Back then Fuji Velvia and Cibachrome prints dominated the photography world. Both known for there saturation. I guess I have a tendency to carry that over to the digital world.

simple Mar 11, 2010 10:11 AM

i really like this look as for the shot itself fantastic just a shame you just missed the top of the spiral but thats just me being real petty ..... so take it with a pinch of salt .... as i wish i could produce something as good as this and the time gap you waited i never would have thought of doing something like that so definatly food for thought there ..... excellent :)

Hards80 Mar 11, 2010 10:25 AM

i really like your technique here, waiting for the sun to go down to get the lights on. i think that added alot to this shot over just a standard sunset. very nice.

i would just like to see a bit wider version as well with more of the lit columns, but maybe the constraints of the buildings and your vantage point did not allow this?

Ancientritual Mar 11, 2010 11:06 AM

Again, Thank You for your comments. In order to get the top of the pole, I would have to go vertical. On top of the pole was a waving in the wind american flag. Not a good thing for time exposures. This was shot on a 5 story parking lot building. I drove my car up to the top level and parked right under the cement railing. This allowed me to sit on the hood of my car and place my tripod on top of the railing which was about 20 inches in width. Since I could not extend the tripod, visions of it falling into a crowd below were of utmost concern. Lady luck was smiling at me, because security is becoming a major issue and a stumbling block for a lot of photographers in St. Louis. There seems to be a security guard around every corner trying to make a name for himself. Plus we now have rent a cops on bikes. These guys are always watching you in the downtown area. You tend to be a marked man with a camera in your hand...

simple Mar 11, 2010 1:40 PM

may i ask how long you have been shooting HDR?

Ancientritual Mar 11, 2010 2:13 PM


Originally Posted by simple (Post 1064034)
may i ask how long you have been shooting HDR?

If you go to mediachance, Dynamic Photo HDR and scroll down to there sample page, you will find samples 2,3, and 4 were done by yours truly. That was 3 years ago. At that time they only had one sample image, so I offered 3 pictures using there product. If memory serves me correct, the pictures were taken at Milstream Gardens, Elephant Rocks, and Silver Mines. All within a 1 1/2 hour drive from St. Louis. Photomatix is a different story. Only been using there product for about 6 months...

simple Mar 11, 2010 2:23 PM

thanks steve :)

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