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Dawn of a new year @ Het Broek, Mechelen, Belgium :: HDR | by Erroba
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Dawn of a new year @ Het Broek, Mechelen, Belgium :: HDR

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Welcome to a new year, I hope everybody has spent some nice time with friends or family and that you are not suffering from an indigestion or a hang over !-)


I would like to thank you and everybody else that has ever visisted my stream in the last year, 2008 was my first year on flickr, I hope there are some more to come, although I had more success that I could have imagined beforehand, I sometimes thought of quitting this game, it's putting a lot of stress on me, it's wearing me out and I don't get the returns I'm wishing for, I will not quit too soon since I love the flickr community, love watching all your great photos and other works and I'm sure that watching all that has had an influence on my growth in photography as well.


I believe in knowledge sharing and I will continue to do so over the years, also a big thumbs up for all like minded souls on this subject, you know who you are !

This digital age has brought us a way of communicating and learning that we couldn't have dreamt off only a few decades ago, if everybody kept all their knowledge to theirselves how would you have learnt anything in the first place?

If you wish me to learn you any photoshop technique I use, feel free to ask, I'm far away from being a photoshop guru, I've got still plenty of learning to do but I will be happy to share with you the things I know.


I apologize if I haven't been commenting on your photos too much or perhaps not at all, I wish I had more time to strawl around on flickr, I do a fair amount of commenting, sometimes giving processing tips or my honest opinion on the compositional aspect of a photo, I always try to come up with a descent answer whenever somebody asks me a question, it takes a bit more time than the average comment or reply and this has been one of my biggest frustrations about flickr or even the human race lately, we don't have time for anything these days, we don't take the time to listen to someone, read the descriptions or have a good look at the image in the larger size, I must admit I sometimes just say 'Super', it's hard

to say anything useful when the image is perfect in every way, there's nothing wrong in saying 'Super' when it really is, but if I see a dozen super-like comments on a shot that doesn't deserve such approval since there are clearly things wrong with one or more aspect of the shot I get a bit annoyed ( I'm not talking about what you like or not, but if there is a compositional mistake, a clear stitching problem, or something else that should be obvious to every viewer ) It was all too well proven to me when my tagged photo ( I thought sucked in several ways ) got to explore.


Some other things that make me frown a bit are the purists, b&w people, HDR is shit people, must be straight out of the camera people, etc.

I have nothing against any style, be it b&w, straight out of the camera, HDR, DRI, bokeh shots, whatever, don't get me wrong, and sure it is great that you're able to produce an image that looks great only by using your camera, shows you have mastered your camera: credits for that! But doesn't it depend on the camera itself a bit? Aren't you using an high end camera? A high end lens? Haven't you been selecting more saturation in the camera, etc? What I'm aiming at it that it all is a bit dubious and in the end it's the result that counts, whatever camera, lens, strobe, tripod, filter or processing tool you used to achieve the result, it's the result that should be criticized, not the method.

I often get comments or mail to say "I don't like HDR, it looks unnatural", I even had "I don't like HDR, it looks unnatural, I prefer b&w", wtf?

Ever wondered about the colours in your reality?

Photography is not about getting a natural looking image, reality can not be grasped in a shot, reality is a moving thing, a photo is a still, a normal photo doesn't look natural, a b&w sure doesn't look natural, a bokeh shot sure doesn't look natural, a macro doesn't look natural, etc

Photography is about creating nice images, expressing moods, just like a painting, did you ever say "I don't like your painting since your using brush number 4?" It's sounds the same to me as "I don't like your photo since it is HDR"...


I begin this new year with a very tranquil shot far away from fireworks and dinner tables, the calmness of mother nature, the dawn on the ice cold planet...



All my images are copyrighted.

If you intend to use any of my pictures, for any usage, you need to contact me first.

Thank you.




My 3rd upload from my early morning trip through the bitter cold (-9°C) in nature reserve 'Het Broek'.


I had put my tripod in a very low position on the ice, this pond was all frozen, not a drop of liquid water to be detected under the ice, so no worries I wasn't going to fall through, I had made the composition and pushed the button and was waiting for the release timer (I wouldn't want to be touching the camera or tripod because the ice was extremely slippery and it could have easily ruined the shot with the smallest touch) when a flock of ducks flew very low over my head making those squeeky noises, I looked up and could clearly see the details of their feathers, awesome moment !


The shot


Standard 3 exposures HDR [-2,0,+2EV] in RAW/ISO100 at f/11 on a tripod using the Sigma 10-20mm lens.




° Shadows & Highlights.

° Extra brightness and a little contrast.

° Extra blue saturation on the sky.

° Less blue saturation on the bottom part.

° Did some repairing work on a harsh red-green flare that didn't look attractive ( I have nothing against flare, sometimes it looks cool ).

° I added a very light lens flare to add some extra special light to this and to cover a bit of my repairing work.

° High pass sharpening.




All comments, criticism and tips for improvements are ( as always ) welcome.




Craig Armstrong - Finding Beauty [CD:As if to nothing]


Happy holidays everybody !!!

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Taken on December 30, 2008