Spent the past weekend out at Camp Cachalot for another round as Campmaster, and had another nice sunset over the main pond, Five Mile. Grabbed the tripod and camera bag and headed down to the waterfront docks to shoot it, and promptly kicked myself for leaving my grad ND filters in the other camera bag at home. Took a series of 6 shots, 1 stop apart, and figured I'd try to see if I could balance things out using Nik HDR Efex Pro. My first stab at this (which I shared on Facebook a day or so ago) was OK, but really felt over-processed to me, too obviously HDR and with a bit of banding in the color around the setting sun. Spent some more time working with it to try and get a more subtle, natural-looking result, and I think this is pretty close. I'm going to call it a day to avoid too much more obsessive pixel-peeping. I'll probably end up printing this one, which will mean more tweaks before sending it off regardless. I like the composition, and am headed out to camp again in a few weeks, so I might try reshooting this as a single exposure with the grad NDs just to see if I can get what I think I can with that setup.
I'm way behind on everyone's streams, but i hope to catch up in the next few days.
Nikon D7000 w/Tokina 11-16mm ƒ/2.8 @ 11mm, circular polarizer to kill close-up glare off the water, various shutter speeds @ ƒ/22, ISO100. HDR merge in Nik HDR Efex Pro, additional cleanup (crop, white balance, and some selective sharpening) in Aperture.
Taking a break from the Chicago pics tonight. Disappointed that I lost most of the light for this one, but reading the kids their bedtime story takes priority over sneaking out into the yard for a photo.
Just a little dandelion seed head infesting my front lawn.
Nikon D7000 w/Nikkor 18-300mm @ 300mm, 1/15s @ ƒ/5.6, ISO100. Color finishing and a little sharpening in Aperture.
The sightseeing boat Bright Star cruises along the Chicago River, while 300 N. LaSalle, the Central Office Building, and 321 N. Clark Street loom in the background. Taken from the Dearborn St. bridge during my all-too-brief photo walk on my family's recent vacation in Chicago.
Nikon D7000 w/Tokina 11-16mm ƒ/2.8 @ 11mm, 1/350s @ ƒ/5.6, ISO100. Color finishing in Aperture.
(Sorry for the obscure title reference. I can't see a rhino without thinking about Eugène Ionesco, and I can't hear the name Eugene without thinking about the Pink Floyd track. Thus ends this little diversion into the wiring of my neurons.)
Again, since I was shooting in full sunlight, I burst-bracketed the shot, and did an HDR merge to recover some shadow detail, and was very pleased with how natural-looking I was able to get with the result (the rust-reds and greens on the animal are the true-to-life colors, believe it or not.) I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but this is really how I prefer to use HDR: to help get the same level of detail that the eye might see in a tough lighting situation and/or bring out detail in a scene (like the texture of the hide, here.) Every once in a while, there's a subject (often architectural) that I think is well-suited to more heavy-handed HDR, but I really do strive for natural-looking results most of the time, which is often pretty challenging. So, I think of it as a useful-but-easy-to-misuse tool (and just one tool of many.)
Nikon D7000 w/Nikkor 18-300mm @ 300mm, 1/90s @ ƒ/9.5 +/- 2.0ev, ISO100, merged to HDR in Nik HDR Efex, with additional color processing in Aperture.