This is my first serious attempt at High Dynamic Range (“HDR”) photography, where three or more shots of the same scene/image are taken at various exposures to collect detail in shadows, highlights and everything in between. Its a method used to capture a scene on paper that looks the way you saw it in person. The human eye and brain can “expose” and interpret the various tones within shadows and highlighted areas all at the same time, but a camera’s range of exposure is very limited. That’s why when you get your prints back you often say, “That’s not what I saw”, or “This photo doesn’t do it justice, it was much more beautiful than that.”
Various software programs have been developed to digitally merge the various shots taken at different exposures into one image. The technology has grown in popularity, and some artists have taken it to the extreme, creating surreal images by cranking up the brightness, contrast and saturation, until it looks like nothing you’ve ever seen without using hallucinating drugs.
This particular shot was taken at the crack of dawn near Granville, NY, which is a stone’s throw from Vermont. The colors in the sky were gorgeous. I took five shots at five different exposures: one shot at what I thought was the correct exposure, then shots one and two-stops over exposed, and shots one and two-stops under exposed.
After I got the merged HDR image, I played around with some of the adjustment sliders until I came up with the image above. Its a little too “edgy” for my taste, and I don’t remember any vibrant colors besides the sky — but, hey, I was only five minutes out of bed, so just staying out of the river was priority one. I think the image needs to be toned down a notch so it looks more real than surreal. What do you think?
Thought for the Day: You can not depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. Mark Twain