People are often mesmerized by long exposures. Smooth water, the movement in clouds...it creates an artistic look in photographs that many people desire. About a year ago, I started to take my long exposures to the next level, by using neutral-density (ND) filters during the day. It allowed me to create photographs that had significantly longer exposures than I would have otherwise been able to take. But sometimes, even using ND filters aren't enough. Recently, I started playing around with using bracketing alongside my ND filters, to create … [Read more...] about Creating Long Exposure Photography with Expanded Dynamic Range
What do you think of when you think of HDR? Over-sharpened, bright photos? The majority of HDR photos I've seen — you know, the ones you always see on real estate sites — are over-contrasted, too bright and just unappealing. But there's a different side to HDR, one that's more realistic to a natural-looking photograph. Why Use HDR? HDR is really just the practice of blending photos together. Usually this involves bracketing, taking into account a different shutter speed and exposure settings as you're shooting. Doing so can boost shadows, … [Read more...] about Toning Down the HDR Look with Photomatix Pro
Like black and white, HDR photography is a terrific tool. It can both save the day technically and also allow us to be creative in unique ways. But how do you know when you might need to use HDR to make you photograph look it's best? The Name Says It All HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and in photography, that means there's a big difference between the proper exposure in the dark areas and in the highlight areas. An example of a scene with low dynamic range would be a picture of a pen sitting on my desk. The light shining on my desk from … [Read more...] about HDR 101: How Do You Know When To Use HDR?
I've been saying it for so long that it's time to write about it! What I'm referring to is my often-given advice for capturing bracketed images. Many people say that we should choose the 'correct' exposure, then capture overexposed & underexposed images. However I recommend to forget the notion of the middle image being the 'correct' exposure. Rather, the 'correct' exposure is a series of images -- and those images capture the full dynamic range of the scene. We can do that by measuring and choosing all of the exposures … [Read more...] about Simple shooting strategy for High Dynamic Range
Sometimes I forget to pack a remote shutter release when I stumble upon an HDR scene. Luckily I can set up a Sony A7 series camera to shoot a bracketed series of images with a self-timer. Press the Menu button on the upper-left backside of the camera. Navigate to the page 2 of the Image menu and scroll down to Bracket Settings. Press Ok. Inside Bracket Settings, click on Self Timer. I like to assign a 2-second self timer. Scroll down to BRK 2 and click Ok. To shoot with the self-timer, all you need to do is enable the Continuous … [Read more...] about Setting a Self Timer for Bracketing HDR Images on Sony Cameras
Nikon and Canon cameras have a button on the camera body to enable a bracketing mode. Sony cameras don’t…I’d buried under the shooting mode menu. Once you know what you’re looking for and configure your settings, it’s very easy to switch in and out of bracketing mode. Let’s go through the settings and get set up. To enable bracketing, we need to change the Drive Mode of the camera. You can do this one of two ways: Press the left side of the circular wheel on the back of the camera Go into the Menu, navigate to page 2 of the Image … [Read more...] about Setting up Bracketing on Sony Cameras
To capture great HDR images, you need some essential equipment. Most of it you probably already own, but may not aways bring with you on a shoot. It’s important to think of HDR photography as a tool, not a subject. Here’s what I mean…when you’re a portrait photographer, you go out and shoot photos of a model. A wedding photographer goes out and shoots photos of a wedding. A travel photographer shoots photos while traveling. You don’t go out to shoot HDR photography. Rather, HDR is a tool you can use to create images with more dynamic range than … [Read more...] about Essential Gear for HDR Photography
Lately I've been working on a project which includes capturing ‘post card’ type images in and around San Francisco. A huge challenge with this project is that I'm doing on my own time, which ain't much, and it means that I can't often visit the best locations at the most ideal times. This presents a problem to solve which is, ‘How can I get at least a good (doesn’t have to be great) photo when the light isn’t very good?’ And I decided to share some ideas which have come from this experience. On one particular occasion, I took time to … [Read more...] about 5 Ideas when faced with ‘blah’ light… but a GREAT location