Sunday, March 28, 2010

Easy HDR

I was walking by a Shell Station in Palo Alto and noticed two Cadillacs in the bays. I thought it might be an interesting photo. But I could tell, that the bright sun would force me to expose for the shadowed Cadillacs or the exterior. So I set my camera to expose for normal. Then two stops up and two stops down. Here are the resulting shots. All are at f/11. The first, exposed at the normal reading is at 1/250 shutter. The darker one is at 1/1000 and the third at 1/60.

I then exported all three to Photomatix Pro to combine them into one HDR image. Photomatix is an easy way to get the darks, medium and light tones all in one image. I used the automatic setting for tone mapping. I then got the following image. Notice how the sky is more deep blue and details are now visible in the bays.

I was not nuts about the unrealistic nature of the photo, so I wanted to convert to black and white. I then exported to photoshop, converted to B&W in layers. I brightened the yellows to make them white and darkened the reds and blues. Cropped and got the resulting B&W image.

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