Thursday, March 10, 2011

Well I woke up this morning...

You weren't on my mind. Yesterday (Saturday) was an ugly day but when I looked out the window this morning I was greeted with a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow (you notice how I keep working song lyrics into my posts?). I did all the stuff I need to do when I get up (I'm into sharing, but that's TMI) then I said to myself, "Self, you need to go out and take some pictures". The snow was particularly beautiful, clinging to the trees, blanketing what was an ugly mess yesterday with a pure white blanket.

I still don't have my camera back, I've got a borrowed D70 with a 28-105 lens. Time for a walkabout, though.

The D70 was, and still is, a quality piece of equipment. Sure, it's slow in comparison to the D300, the LCD is a rinky-dink little one and it's only 6Mp but you can still get some good pictures with it!

Here are a few images I did Saturday with the D70.



Like I said it was really an ugly day, this shot across the lake shows you what it looked like.



The two guys on the ATV are soaking wet from the rain and notice the deep water-filled ruts out on the lake ice. The ATV shot is a single-image HDR -- created from only one shot.



And here's a shot of my woodpile, more traditionally done from 3 images (OK, and enhanced with Topaz. What can I say? I like that program!).

For you non-photographers or new-to-pixel-bending (post processing on the computer) types, HDR stands for "High Dynamic Range" and it helps you produce images from scenes that contain more light levels, light to dark, than your sensor or your monitor or printer can handle. There will be a series of HDR articles on the faczentech blog, but not until after April 10th. Why April 10th?

I've been asked to do a presentation on HDR techniques at the Imaging Conference at Boynton House on April 10th. I'll review the 5 steps you need to take to make HDR's, and I hope many of you will find the time to attend. I'm writing the presentation in "Pages" on my iPad and haven't decided yet if I'll present it using "Keynote" and the iPad or PowerPoint on the laptop. I'm leaning towards the iPad but I have to learn how Keynote works, and make sure I can connect successfully to the projector.

I'll publish the presentation afterwards online. Hang in there.

Both of those shots show some of the extreme effects you can get with HDR, but here's one where I just used the technique to bring out some details.



HDR toning has many uses and you don't have to go to extremes.

I started writing this on Saturday, but didn't finish. So today (Sunday) is nicer. Among other things, I did this mixed-media shot and captured a nice sunset.





All with the D70 and a mediocre lens. Huh. Monday I get my D300 back from Nikon! Stay tuned.