Archive for Photomatix

Urban Trees / More HDR Testing

Posted in Creative Process, Creativity, photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2010 by Tim McGuire Images

For the last two or three months my wife and I have been getting up early 3-4 times a week to go downtown (Seattle, WA) to workout at Club Zum.  Every morning as we walk from where we park the car to the gym I would notice these beautiful tree forms amongst the downtown buildings… these organic / natural shapes contrasting with the man made hard edged buildings surrounding them.  I find it to be an interesting juxtaposition and had been meaning to make some photographs of them which I finally did.

These are some of the images I made of the trees and buildings last week while trying out this HDR photography technique. If they look a little fuzzy click on the image again to see the full resolution image.

Experimenting with HDR

Posted in Creative Process, Creativity, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2010 by Tim McGuire Images

From time to time I go running and for walks in Discovery Park in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle. It really is a beautiful park. I was interested in trying out this HDR photography (High Dynamic Range) technique so last week I went to Discovery Park and a few other places to make some test shots.  HDR is made to capture contrasty scenes through multiple exposures and combine those different exposures to make one High Dynamic Range image.

I bought Photomatix, a software program many people say is useful for doing this technique and I tried following the instructions I found on Trey Ratcliff’s tutorial on HDR as well as those instructions I found on the Photomatix website. Both resources were just OK and left a lot of details out.  The software also seemed a bit “buggy” but maybe I just didn’t know what I was doing… I was frustrated they didn’t have very detailed instructions of how to using the Photomatix plugin for Adobe Lightroom using RAW files.  I guess Trey wants people to buy his book.

I will keep trying this technique because if done well it can make some truly unique imagery.  I found there is definitely a learning curve and not every subject works well for HDR.  I’ve found that complex and detailed subject matter combined with movement (tree branches moving slightly in the wind) can be somewhat problematic.  Wide angle lenses and chromatic aberration can also cause problems.

Here are some samples of what I came up with that afternoon.