digital HDR Magic Lantern photography photowalk postprocessing

Blood for Blood: HDRs in a lost place

Lost and abandoned places are wonderful if you want to shoot HDRs. HDRs are a nightmare if there are people in the shot. So there has to be some postprocessing in lightroom and photoshop.

How is the view?

photography photowalk Uncategorized

To see the difference in the details

"Electricity light" can be found on the right side by stst31415
“Electricity light” can be found on the right side, a photo by stst31415 on Flickr.

Sometimesyou take pictures out of a different cause. I tend to take vanishing point pictures and the picture with electricty ligh was taken because I drove past and saw that the points where cable hangs from are different in the two towers. Call me Monk…

HDR photography photowalk postprocessing

The return to HDR

I stopped doing HDR shots some time ago. Now I started again. I love strong colors and I love the look of black and white pictures. HDR has some aspects of both.

HDR is strange. People like it or they hate it or they do both. The pictures below were shot handheld and postprocessed with HDR Efex.

Building the tower

The point of vanishing

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Lessons learned with my first manual lens on DSLR

I recently bought a manual lens on ebay. I saw some pictures taken with a manual lens on flickr and got curious. Some minutes and EUR 88,- later (USD 125,-) I was the owner of a Revuenon 55mm f1.4, an adapter for the M42 screw mount to EF and a lens hood.

The first impression was heavy. This glass is built like a tank. Metal everywhere. Great! And the aperture is 1.4 so it is fast. The DOF is shallow. So the first tests were on how the glass reacts to bad lighting and how to operate the little gem.

DOF dice Test with Revuenon 55mm 1:1.4   Test 1 M42  Test 2 M42

So the first thing I learned: Take your time.

In some light conditions it is fairly easy to focus with the view finder, but especially if you are close to the object it is better to us the liveview. The DOF is so shallow that it can be the trickiest part of the whole procedure to focus.

Once I knew the signature of my glass I took it for a walk. And I had fun!

Feet of steel will show you, that the DOF is shallow! Recognize the small strip of sharpness on the ground. Small details like this can be useful when focusing by hand.

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The red rule

Bratislava is full of contradictions by stst31415
Bratislava is full of contradictions, a photo by stst31415 on Flickr.

A picture consisting of contradictions can be especially nice to look at. But still there is room for improvement. The strange thing is, that the red rule nearly always gives you nice results. If you see something red, pull the trigger.
Sometimes the outcome will be especially nice. I was lucky 🙂

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Playing with exposure

Have you ever asked yourself: Who decides which exposure is the right one for my picture? If you are in green rectangle mode your camera decides. Sometimes this makes things easier, but even when you switch to P, Av, Tv the camera decides what is good for you.

It takes another small step to get to M. The place where you decide how your picture should look like. I played around and wanted to take a picture with a lot of light (often called high key lighting). The focus could be a little bit better but I like it.

Sweet memories

photography photowalk postprocessing

HDR features in Magic Lantern

I took the camera for a walk with friends. As it is when you have a nice walk, you meet somewhere. In our case we met on a bridge. I was not the last person to show up (actually I was the first), so I had some time to take some shots.

Going through the menu of Magic Lantern I found the HDR settings, where you can have up to 9 brackets. Because my last HDR with real brackets was ages ago I decided to take a shot – or 9 in my case. Magic lantern also writes this little shell script for enfuse on the card, which is of no direct use for me (because it is Linux), but of indirect: You know which pictures are part of your series.

Now comes the fun part: Our PC is broken and the only thing left is a netbook. Photoshop Elements crashed on a regular basis when trying to stitch together the exposures. So I thought: Time to enfuse again. Because I am lazy, I downloaded a GUI for Enfuse. This makes things much easier. The machine was still working for ages, but did not hang. Still, the result was nice, but also a little bit dull:

enfused HDR Schwedenbrücke

But I loved the strange ghosting of the ship on the channel.

The only thing which was nearly annoying me was the high level of detail, so I thought I try this one in a very dramatic black and white. I used photoshop for a stylemapping from an older highly dramatic black and whites and there it was: Full of energy, dramatic and nearly apocalyptic.

Stuttering or warping?

UPDATE: I nearly forgot to tell you that there are also some plugins for lightroom if you want to try enfuse from within adobe.

photography photowalk

My bokehlicious girlfriend

bokehlicious girlfirend

I just was on a test walk in the Vienna woods testing my gear for the Pinzgau Geocaching Megaevent when I decided: I will start to shoot portraits in the woods – nice Bokeh in the background and with one or two flashes you are the king of the block 🙂

photography photowalk postprocessing

Endless stairs or how to make the best out of awkward situations

Endless stair by stst31415
Endless stair, a photo by stst31415 on Flickr.

If you are into photography you already know what will not work out. And maybe there are plenty of people who already told you, what would be the best practice.

For instance not shooting against the light, because the background washes out. The Light might get spooky or awkward and so on. So? If you never do it on purpose you will not learn how to master it and use it as an element in your picture.

Look at the picture. This is a rather short escalator. Using a 10mm wide angle lens the distance gets extended, the point of view from near the stairs enhances this effect even more. And then I start shooting against the light.

The real strange thing is that this shot does not look very different in color.

So you have to learn the rules in order to know why you should break them. Consider rules as a way to do things with a big sign tagged to them. Caution it says in big red letters… Ah red. I have to take a shot. But this is another story.

photography photowalk postprocessing

The power of the filter

Do you know what I think is most fun in black and white photography? It is one of the things which has great potential to get lost. It is filters.