Monday, October 25, 2010

A New Toy

In an earlier post I spent some time explaining "dynamic range." I went on to support a free program called "Picturenaut." Today I made the decision it was time to get serious about High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography and see what I can do by purchasing Photomatix, the program most touted as the best option for HDR. Brandi and I split the cost and I'm sure she's in line for a late night too.

Let me first say I have a TON to learn. There are so many pitfalls that can derail any picture and using several exposures only compounds the challenge. Second, processing an HDR image takes a lot of time. I repeat, it takes a LONG time. Which is why I'm rushing to make my midnight deadline. It doesn't help that I can't stop trying new images to process. I processed about 10 images and every one of them could have been posted. Third, I have a crap-ton of dust on my sensor and that royally sucks. Gonna have to address that soon.

For tonight's photo I give you this rock:

Canon 30D
Canon EF 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Focal Length 18mm

Shutter Speed 1/30, 1/125, and 1,500
Aperture f/6.3

ISO 100

This rock is very "Crystal Lake" for me. I grew up referring to this as graffiti rock and I remember when it actually looked like a rock. It has seen countless layers of paint as you can see in the foreground. The last time I saw it the overall color was navy blue. It seems today's painters had other things in mind.

I chose this as my subject because Kristine and I are high school classmate. We spent countless hours singing our way through high school and I consider it a high point in my life. It will always be a very "Crystal Lake" feeling when I reconnect with my singing buddies and for that reason I chose this rock.

Kristine, thanks for joining us. You, like all our guests, did a fantastic job. Come back again soon! As for me, I'm spent. Watch for more HDR and next time I post I promise to give a better explanation. Bedtime for this singer.



  1. I've never seen a rock look so dimensional. I spent a little time playing with the HDR program myself last night. I didn't have images to use but I'm ready make a run. I'm thinking this wind is going hamper my efforts today though.
    Great job, as always.

  2. Kathy doesn't want me to look at 3C1D anymore because it gives me too many ideas. Something about wanting more lenses, I guess! Great shot!

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  4. P.S. I am going to my first Nikon photo class this Saturday. Think they'll have products for sale??? I took off the previous comment because I spelled at least half the words wrong. Must be excited.

  5. Sorry Kathy. We enthusiasts do have a way of encouraging each other towards newer and better toys.

    Dan, the Nikon class sounds awesome. That's what I should be paying for instead of flying in the dark! Let us know how it goes and have a great time!

  6. Dan,
    I've heard pretty good things about the Nikon classes. You will have to let us know how it goes. Is this where you take several different shots of a certain thing (in this case the rock, grafitti and the background) using the best settings for each section and then putting them together in one picture so that each section of the photo has the best settings for lack of a better term of that area? That was what I kind of got out of it.