HDR and ND400

That’s quite a few acronyms, we know what HDR is (or at least should do) but what is ND400? Well, ND is for neutral density and the 400 is, well, almost a ten stop filter. Not quite welding glass material, but getting there. Handy on it’s own for creating different finishes at unusual times. How about a 5 second exposure with midday sun on the beach, or positioned for traffic of passers-by?.

Enough of that, the warmer days are getting closer so I decided to do a sunrise (although on this particular morning it wasn’t all that mild) As we set off, the were no clouds in the sky, so with the prospect of a bland dawn, we headed away from the sun and set ourselves up to capture the light as it fell upon the old dilapidated pier once the sun had risen a bit.

© John Conway 2010  ” HDR – Dell”

(click the photo to see the bigger version)

It was at this point I had the ND400 on to smooth out the waters that I thought, why not try an HDR. I find with the ND400 on I get quite an intensity of colours, blues more noticeable it seems. The 10-15-30second exposures gave me a result I wasn’t expecting.

When I process in Photomatix, I try and not exceed 80% for HDR and 65 for saturation (unless I want a specific look) I had it toned down quite a bit but it really finished up looking quite 3D looking. Not sure if it is the colours itself or the use of the ND400 (or a combination).

Given the chance I might do a few more of these over the coming weeks to see how they work out.

Let me know your thoughts (even for those that just use an ND400 or equivalent)

Winter is over!!!

Well, that’s my excuse for not doing any HDR shots lately. Last week went out for a shoot with a friend, who besides being a “photo nut” also happens to ride Mountain Bikes. (These guys are loco)

Anyway, off we went to a local track, it was midweek so it was quiet, just what I wanted as I was trying out some “off Camera flash” using radio triggers to fire my speedlites (one a Canon and one  Nikon) (Triggers were Pocket wizards II)

© John Conway 2010  ” At the top”

Pretty happy with the results and before anyone comments (if anyone at all) this ISN”T HDR, so why is it in here? Good question.

I’m thinking with external light(s) creating a sculpturing of light around an object, isn’t that what HDR does in a way? brings out detail in those shadows that would be lost.

A bit of burning and dodging and a touch of tonal contrast was all that was needed to get this finished result.

Your thoughts?


Must be about time I updated this. (Has been almost a year)

Chrysler Car Show in Geelong last Labour Day weekend, with the prestigious Geelong Grammer School as a back drop.

This is a one shot RAW file exposed three times. Tone mapped twice. I’ll upload a larger version elsewhere and update so you can see the detail.

© John Conway 2010  ” Regal”

HDR – ‘Henry’ gets the makeover

It has been a while since I have done a HDR of any description. One of my own favourites is this one

So, when the chance arose from visiting the same area (Queenscliff, VIC) I wandered down to the coastal railway, and lucky for me, with the Easter holidays upon us, it looked like they’d ‘dressed’ up one of the engines to look like Henry (from the Thomas the Tank series on TV)

I did two takes on this, both were 3 shots (shot in RAW), 1 stop apart, hand held (well, sort of, I was resting on a wire fence)

Shot with a Canon 40D, with a Sigma 10-20 attached (and polariser)

Processed and Tonemapped in Photomatix, finished off in Photoshop.


© Henry – #1

You can find a larger version here

This is a closer shot of ‘Henry’ I quite like the “cartoony”  look and probably works better with the subject chosen.


© Henry – #2

You can find a larger version here

HDR – The Boot

No, I have’nt got rid of my HDR urge (although I have been slack with my uploads)

The Boot refers to my shot I took tonight, I should do a few more over the weekend, they will be of the Hot Rod variation (and maybe a seascape thrown in)

Without further ado, I give you, a cropped section of, The Boot.


© The Boot

Processed in Capture One. In Photoshop, use of ReDynaMix was applied in sections, with some masking in use.

A larger version can be seen at RedBubble

HDR – Other People’s Take on It – Part Two

On an earlier post, March I think, I had links to other people takes on HDR, or derivatives of. I’ve decided to re-visit and post up some links of HDR work that I admire.

Birgitta’s 1989

Dave Warren’s Sunrise Over Inquisitive Eyes

Ben Pacificar’s Anger Management

Jason Connolly’s Rust in Peace

Matt Halls’ Midnight Views in Windy City

The above have many more HDR work in their portfolios over at RedBubble

All quality work I’m sure you’ll agree, have a look around and enjoy, I know I would.

HDR – ReDynaMix

Tried out a different program for producing HDR shots. ReDynaMix is its name and if interested it can be found here

I used a single file JPG, only because I haven’t checked to see if it does RAW files. Has real time viewing window as you adjust the sliders. I got an “out of memory” a couple of times ( I had Firefox, Capture One and Photoshop running at the time) I thought 4GB would enough memory, maybe my ‘puter was having an off day.

Anyway, just thought I’d post up a result, it’s a busy photo, but I’m happy with the outcome.

© Old Pump at “Wandi”


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