photography from the ground up

Cabezon Flood

This is my first attempt at an HDR image. HDR is an acronym for high dynamic range. It is chiefly used in difficult lighting situations when the camera cannot capture the full breadth of the range of highlights and shadows. The technique involves making several images at different exposures using a tripod, then combining them to expand the dynamic range. The blending can be done in Photoshop or one of the many other applications that have been developed for the purpose. I used Photomatix Pro to blend this image.

I made the initial images out between San Luis and Cabezon where the road crosses a deep arroyo. The sun was obscured by the overcast and everything was in varying degrees of shadow. I bracketed five exposures (-2, -1,0, +1, +2). I did some basic adjustments to all the images in Lightroom, and then exported them to Photomatix to accomplish the blending–I only used four of the five bracketed exposures. The image below was processed using my normal workflow in Lightroom and Photoshop. I like both versions; they both express the scene in a different way. What do you think?

Equipment: Nikon D700, Nikon 17–35 mm 2.8 lens, circular polarizer, Bogen tripod.

Camera Settings: f22, 1/13th, 1/20th, 1/30th, 1/40th sec., ISO 100.

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