I took this one on a quick hike to the Hollywood sign. After reading countless stories about the difficulty getting to the sign I decided to give it a go... After risking "life and limb" I have convinced myself of on thing; Don't pay attention to people on the internet. On a scale of 1 to 10..the hike was a 3 at best.


My HDR story.

One year ago I was in the hospital and the doctor said; "Neil, if you ever drink again, you will die." So I was forced to stop drinking the gallon a day and the two pack habit that was my regiment .

What to do with all of my time? 5 years prior, in a drunken rage, filled with Jack Daniels, cocaine and enough nicotine to make a Virginian choke, I had a moment of "clarity." I bought a DSLR and proclaimed "this will now take the place of partying." So 5 years later, forced to fill my time, I went to internet to get started;

1. Yahoo to Flickr

2. Flickr - amazing colors and dynamic range (noticed the letters HDR everywhere)

3. back to Yahoo - "HDR" brought me to Stuck in Customs

4. Free tutorial - one hour later, MY FIRST HDR


That's the story. "That's nice Neil, what's your point?"

The #1 reason I was drawn to HDR is a comment written by Trey Ratcliff. He wrote about getting a fancy new camera and being disappointed with the images. The images it produced didn't portray what he saw with his naked eye (I wrote eye because he claims to be blind in one eye.) He found HDR and used it to recreate what his eye saw. That leads me to my question for you....

Looking at this image, notice the colors of the grass in the shaded part of the hill on the right. With one single exposure you would not be able to see that area so vividly. The camera simply can't expose for all of the light levels in this scene. In person, I saw the color in the shaded areas exactly the way I represented them here. Now our brains tell us that we shouldn't see color and light in a shaded areas based on the thousands of photographs we've seen.


  • Richard Krawiec PRO 4y

    It's a great story and the pic - well if it registers with how you recall the scene then that's natural.

    Since I didn't see the scene firsthand then I have to rely on you to portray it as you saw it (if that's your intention) and in this case I think it works very well. No overblown colours, no etching to the detail - just a good tonal range.

    And isn't that what Ansel Adams did in B/w - extend the tonal range to compensate for the limitations of the equipment, film and chemistry of the time?

    The subject? Well that either floats your boat or not. If I'm honest (and I try to be without wishing to cause offense) it lacks a little interest or tension for me.

    Unless you'd prefer me to just post 'awesome' - nah, thought not.
  • Terrence White PRO 4y

    Looks like the ending frame of a Hollywood movie, it has an enigmatic quality, you sort of want to know the story, but the ending is pleasing in itself. Great shot Neil It kinda goes with your 'turn from' story too. Forget the photo-theology-purity debate the pictures are great !

    Wow Lonely cowboy ..
  • eagle1effi PRO 4y

    interessante !!
  • Arjen Toet 4y

    Already commented on this pic, but as the HDR natural / unnatural discussion is still going on here... I have to react on Juergen's arguments above.

    I do agree with Juergen that HDR is definitely not necessary in every photo.
    It's possible to get results with LR that can be just as good, or sometimes (almost) no treatment does the job.

    However, I do not agree that 'every photographer goes through a (supposibly poor?) creativity stage where he starts using HDR as a technique'.
    HDR simply brings oppurtunities that would not have been available without this technique.
    As with all new techniques, people (most of them active in photography for some time) criticise the technique before embracing or accepting it.
    It was the same when photography changed from analogue to digital and, I have to say, I don't like what an Iphone can do these days too, considering what I spend on my DSLR,
    but I have to admit and accept that these camera phones are getting better and better.

    Concerning the natural / unnatural discussion: ask yourself if you could have seen the grass on the right in this picture with your eye. Now consider if you would have seen the grass with a 'normal' shot in this light, now look at the picture. You see?
    As far as I'm concerned HDR brings the oppurtunity to approach a much more realistic level then ever before in photography.
    In my opninion people are just so used to the fact that photographs give a limited view of reality, that it looks unnatural when a picture all of a sudden gets really close to 'the real thing'.
    The thought: 'How is it possible that I can see as much in this picture as I could see with my bare eye?' Makes the picture (and the used technique) questionable and thus 'unnatural'.

    That being said, I don't like 'over the top' HDR's either, but I guess the creativity process in processing HDR's and what is a good result and what isn't is for everyone to decide for themselves.

    And again: I really like this pic!
  • Elahe Dastgheib 4y

    beautiful work and framing
  • Archie McCafferty PRO 4y

    Nice work and great story Neil - love the HDR - my eyes may not interperet it like this, but then again, my brain isn't that great anyway!! :-))
  • victormanzano 4y

    Precioso paisaje, enhorabuena!
  • baratineuse1947LUCIE** PRO 4y

    Einfach super klasse!

    Vue dans / Seen in / Gesehen in / VISTA EN :

    "3 word comments ~ -☆--☆- fall / harvest --☆--☆ "


    YOUR pic is marvellous
    Esta imagen es maravillosa!
    Dieses Bild ist wunderbar!

    Esta imagem é maravilhoso!

    Cette photo est magnifique!
  • eagle1effi PRO 4y

    see our frontside

    ranking of the year 2011 - group Your Best of Today - through my eyes. - 1246 member

    Best of the year 2011

    #1 - juxtaposed

    by Neil Armstrong2 - See his photo - See his profile

    powered by etrusco - www.pensando.it/dblog/classifica_flickr_en.asp - Discuss on Flickr!

    effi Admin
  • eagle1effi PRO 4y

    Best Photo of Today ! - Year 2011

    Amigo´s eye - on Explore - #100. Best  ranking:  # 65.

    Prachtig - Gorgeous Fabulös Magnifique Meraviglioso Lindo Praktful

    . . . . . . £ O V E . . i T
    _ . ♥.♥.♥ . _

    mini - sweet

    . . very much !
    Vue dans / Seen in / Gesehen in

    © Your best of today © __through my eyes -__ !

  • eagle1effi PRO 4y

    bei dem Rücken -
    The other Side

    sofort Platz
    #1 in meiner kleinen Gruppe!

  • eagle1effi PRO 4y

    ~~~~~~~~~~ NEW ~ ♪♪♫♪ ♪♪♫♪ ~ AWARD ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    © Your Best of Today ©
    Your presentation makes my bones |♪♫♪| ♪♪♫♪|" ♪♫♪| ♪♪♫♪ singing ! :-D

    stunning effi´s sennheiser HDR 40 sw b/w
    Please tag

    © Your Best of Today © - through my eyes !
  • Vittorio Pandolfi PRO 4y

    Excellent work!
    You are invited to post this art in:
    invite code by Adriënne, on Flickr
    ----- Museum Quality Only -----
  • Fotos_Mariano_Villalba PRO 3y

  • Danica 3y

    -- Sua foto bonita foi vista dentro/
    -- Your beautiful photo was seen in:
    comment code by Adriënne, on Flickr
  • Antonio Rino Gastaldi PRO 3y

    Grazie per aver condiviso questo scatto con noi
    Thank you for sharing your picture with us.

  • Naterally Wicious PRO 3y

    Like a painting. So I guess the answer to your question is: this image does not look strictly 'realistic'. Yet it's not overcooked, and it probably comes closer to portraying the mind's inner experience of 'being there', than a truly 'realistic' photograph would.
  • Nick A PRO 3y

    looks perfectly realistic to me. An example of HDR done right
  • Naterally Wicious PRO 3y

    Nick A Certainly it's subtle compared to most HDR. But come on, look at the grassy area at bottom right: realistic? Surely not.
168 faves
Taken on June 18, 2011
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