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Second Street View

Things Will Never Be The Same…

It wasn’t long after I purchased my DSLR that I discovered HDR photography. I began to notice these amazing photographs on I would see the letters “HDR” and wonder, what is that? Upon investigation I found an HDR group on Flickr and began reading about this tone mapping software called Photomatix. I went to and downloaded the FREE trial plugin for Aperture 3, found some tips on how to work with it and began to experiment. Some of my first HDR attempts (which are long gone, lol) looked like garbage, until I discovered the Stuck In Customs HDR Tutorial. A lot of the great HDR images I saw belonged to Trey Ratcliff and he has inspired me and so many others by offering his tutorial. I was even more inspired by his Photomatix discount code (lol), I decided to buy it and begin my HDR obsession.

For this shot above I was walking along the Ben Franklin Bridge. Because the Port Authority can be hard on photographers, I hesitated to be so obvious with a tripod. I decided to shoot handheld as I saw 2 cops at the base of the bridge. At this point I’ve been shooting RAW + JPEG for a short while and luckily found this image to work very well as a single RAW HDR. The trick is to duplicate your image twice. Increase the “exposure” slider on one copy to +2 and decrease -2 on the second copy. Now load all 3 into photomatix!:)

Waiting for the images to load into Photomatix is one of the greatest anticipations. The first time I saw this HDR appear in Photomatix I was so excited that I quickly moved the adjustment sliders.  After loading my HDR back into Aperture I would normally use the “Exposure” , “Contrast” and “Black Point” sliders right away, then play with the “Highlights” and “Shadow”. This was ok, but honestly it’s not the way to go.  It seems that “Curves” and “Levels” are your saviors!!!

To sum things up, it’s what inspires us to try new things that keeps us fresh with ideas. When you see something that inspires you, investigate! It’s up to you to find the answer and there are those along the way that can help. With that said, please feel free to ask me any questions related to HDR or photography in general. I will do my best to give you an honest answer.

As always thank you for following my PhotoBlog:)

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July 29, 2010 - 6:19 pm

Gail in Montana - Wonderful HDR photo, Scott!!! Great job. thanks for sharing with us. Glad you are following in Trey’s footsteps. Hope you get to travel as much as he does when you make lots of money on your photos!!!!

July 29, 2010 - 10:13 pm

Scott Frederick - That’s very nice of you to say Gail. I can only dream of a day I can travel and share photos from around the world. For now I am stuck on the ground, LOL. :)

August 6, 2010 - 12:16 pm

Igor Alecsander - Great single exposure job!

August 20, 2010 - 1:35 pm

Scott Frederick - Thank you Igor, thanks for stopping by my blog :)

August 21, 2010 - 12:12 pm

Karen - This is absolutely MY FAVORITE PHOTO! I just love it.


August 21, 2010 - 1:27 pm

Scott Frederick - Thanks Karen. You’ll notice I made a correction to your post. Have a great weekend :)

September 2, 2010 - 10:02 am

Pete Doyle - Thanks Scott, brilliant picture,if my pictures can be half as good as yours I will be 50% on my way to reaching my goal, thank you again for the inspiration.

September 2, 2010 - 12:46 pm

Scott Frederick - Your welcome Pete, thank you for your kind words about my work. For me that is inspiration and I appreciate it!

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