Charlie and the Photography Factory

October 5, 2009

My “Sojourn” in Texas

Filed under: Austin, Texas — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — charlieprator @ 6:23 PM

What a strange feeling it was to be back in warm Texas after 6 months with the thought that this was only temporary. It was a vacation–not a return home.  I would be going back to live another 6 months abroad in vackra Sverige!

Knowing this, I made the best of my time there doing what every Texan should do knowing that their creature comforts would be gone soon enough:

  • I ate Taco Bell, numerous times.
  • Drank Dr. Pepper at almost every meal
  • Coerced myself to enjoy a Bud Lite (hard to do after drinking quality beers such as Heineken and Carlsberg)
  • Drove. Everywhere.
  • Floated the river. Twice.
  • Visited Austin. Twice.
  • Came close to re-negging on my decision on going back to Sweden whilst visitng Aggieland–four times.

Anyways, I could go on, but it’s time for the picture.  Whilst in Texas I had the awesome opportunity to attend Trey Ratcliff’s (Yes, that guy that does HDR that I always mention here, stuckincustoms.com) Photowalk, and it was such a great event.  My buddy Raul and I both went, met other avid (HDR) photographers, and had a small chat with Trey.   Here’s one of my results from that night:

Capitol

May 11, 2009

Once You Start HDR, You’re Raising the Bar

Group1

A long time ago, when I was still in highschool,  I had reached a plateau in my photography.  I had lost the interest in it, and the joy of finding those shots that can spur the rush of emotions it instigates in people.   For awhile, I had tried to figure out why my interest was waning in a hobby I used to love so much, and I had come to the conclusion that there was a lack of real world imitation that my photos had.  Time and time again, I would take shots of landscapes and people, only to find the shot never accurately portrayed what I saw.  The skys would be over-exposed losing all detail. Or, my subject was underexposed, thus not illuminating the correct colors of skin, eyes, clothing, flowers, etc.  I could never fully capture and show people the visually satiating image I had seen via the duller photographic representation I had taken.  It had become frustrating, and with time I stopped taking photos.

Then, years later along came HDR.  Although the process is many years old, it wasn’t until recently (I think) that HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography had come into professional acceptance and public demand.  I had stumbled on to Trey Ratcliff’s site and had my mind blown away.  For the first time, I saw correct representational photography of our world.   I read his “How To” on HDR, and found myself with a new project to embark on.  A week later I was in Kiruna, Sweden at the ICEHOTEL snapping away, learning about the process, and  enjoying the results 100%.  Finally, my joy of photography and post-shoot development had been rekindled.

If you’ve been around me within the last 3 months you’ve heard enough about my new hobby.  Understandingly, everyone pokes fun at the process by mocking me, “Okay, guys now I need you to stand really still.  There’s gonna be 3 photos…”  But, when they see the results they understand the difference.  So, here’s another chance to understand.  Above, is the final product of a total of 30 minutes of relaxed photo development.  The process, which uses an application called Photomatix, takes 3 differently exposed images, perfectly exposed, over-exposed, and under-exposed, and stacks them together.  Below, I have taken the three images (right half of picture) and bled them through for you to see the differences. 

Each photo explains some of my earlier frustrations.  The  first stripe is over-exposed, and has lost the details in the sky.  The middle stripe is perfectly exposed, but has lost a slight degree of color. Finally, the last stripe is under-exposed revealing the details in the clouds, but has lost all color in the trash-can.  In short, each photo brings it’s respective cards the table, and is then stacked together via Photomatix to get the above image–the closest representation of Råslätt that day.  We see the colors on the building. The grass is a vibrant green.  The clouds in the sky are seen. It is as vivid as I had seen it.  True photographic representation. The bar has been raised, has it not? Do you see the difference? 

Group1 Example

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