HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography is a fairly new trend in digital photography. It’s also one of the most exploited and poorly used techniques when placed in the wrong hands. The positives of HDR certainly outweigh the negatives. It can elevate a photo to an entirely new level with added clarity and detail. Two things we can all appreciate in a photo.
This video will show you some of the steps taken to transform a nice photo of Jackie into a really nice photo of Jackie. She made Paradise Bikini look great down in Negril, Jamaica. Thinking of Jamaica makes me hungry for some jerked chicken. I really have to get my hands on that food again. So. damned. tasty.
This particular series of photos was taken by Kelly Formus. I was asked to work my magic bringing two images together and blending them into one long panorama. I also wanted to bring in a lot of the tones that were missing on the original exposure. I have a particular process I use involving Lightroom, Photomatix, and Photoshop. I tend to not overcrank the settings in Photomatix, which gives the image a nice even tone and not the harsh garbage that 90% of people churn out with their HDR software. Moderation, people.
Look at everyone having a great time and letting themselves play off one another. (MVP goes to the dude doing the handstand.) The lighting is absolutely perfect. Natural and neutral. That is key to creating a lovely image.
The final image took approximately two hours to complete.
On November 7, 2010 Lindsay and I met with Lindsay and Dave to take engagement photos. We drove up to Washington Rock in Green Brook, New Jersey. The weather was a bit overcast and quite cold, but everyone was a champ about it.
There were several families around at the time, so we spent a good amount of time waiting for the perfect moment. (I will also mention that my Canon 430EX Speedlite was malfunctioning during this shoot. The bulb fixture slipped off its plastic track and was not allowing for power adjustments. Made for a difficult time. Anyway, I was able to fix this problem once I got home.)
After we finished up at Washington Rock, we hopped in the car and drove down to Westfield, New Jersey. The downtown area of Westfield is great. They’ve managed to keep that old-fashioned look Americana look intact all these years. They even have a movie theater that isn’t owned by a major corporation. I’d consider that a small miracle.
Neil van Niekerk ran a Photoshop contest on his web site. The original photo featured a performer from Modern Gypsies climbing a graffiti wall. I wasn’t blown away by the winning entry. But it is what it is.
In the link below you can view the winner as well as the original image. My take is on the left.