Sunday, 29 July 2012

Triumphal Arch in Milan

Today some older HDR shot showing triumphal arch in Milan.

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Saturday, 28 July 2012

Palacio Nacional da Ajuda

Today photo of a Palacio Nacional da Ajuda, in Belem, Lisbon.

EXIF data:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 32 mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure time: 1/160 s (for "normal" exposure)
ISO: 640
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2.0 EV
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: no
Software: Photomatix Pro 4.2.3, Lightroom 4.1, Photoshop CS5

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Friday, 27 July 2012

Tutorial: Does number of exposures really matter?

Most tutorials about HDR photography recommend taking 3 photos with 1.5 or 2 EV spacing in most situations. Although it is true in the majority of cases, there are scenes when 3 photos with even 2 EV spacing won't cover whole dynamic range of the scene.

In this short post I will try to show differences in the final image look based on the number of exposures taken: 3, 5 and 7. All photos were tone-mapped in Photomatix Pro 4.2.3 using the same settings. No further editing was done on any of them.

Also move your mouse pointer over any of the images to see previous one in the sequence. This will make it easier to compare images.

Here is a photo tone-mapped from only 3 exposures at 1.5 EV spacing:
Note how much detail is lost in this shot both in shadows and highlights. The sky is faded out (and the sun is almost completely blown out) and the forest lacks contrast. It is a sign that whole dynamic range of the scene wasn't covered.

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Thursday, 26 July 2012

Shore in Dahab (colour)

I often process my photos in a few different ways, most commonly both in colour and in black & white. It's amazing how post-processing can add completely different feeling to the shot, with b&w version being more dramatic most of the time. It's the case with this photo. I uploaded black & white version a few weeks ago, and you can see it here. Indeed there is more drama in it. However, I like colour version as well because of the oranges and reds in the left side of the frame.

Here is EXIF data:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM
Focal length: 10 mm
Aperture: f/14.0
Exposure time: 1/30 s (for "normal" exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2.0 EV
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: no
Software: Photomatix Pro 4.2.3, Lightroom 4.1, Photoshop CS5

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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Royal Baths Park

Today photo from Royal Baths Park in Warsaw.

EXIF data:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 24
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure time: 1/160 ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 400
Number of exposures: 3
E.V. Step: 2.0 EV
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: no
Software: Photomatix Pro 4.2.3, Lightroom 4.1, Photoshop CS5

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Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Old boat - a little closer

Another photo of a boat, this time in black & white.

EXIF data:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM
Focal length: 20
Aperture: f/16
Exposure time: 1/25 ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 7
E.V. Step: 1.5 EV
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Software: Photomatix Pro 4.2.3, Lightroom 4.1, Photoshop CS5

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Monday, 23 July 2012

Calmness

Recently I became quite interested in infrared photography and here is yet another attempt. I needed to use 60 seconds (at ISO 500) exposure despite the fact this photo was taken in the middle of the day.

EXIF data:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM
Focal length: 10
Aperture: f/10
Exposure time: 60 s
ISO: 500
Number of exposures: 1
E.V. Step: n/a
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: Hoya IR R72
Software: Lightroom 4.1, Photoshop CS5

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Saturday, 21 July 2012

Old Boat

Today another landscape photo from Masuria. I needed 7 exposures here because there were both well lit areas and also very dark ones (like the trunk of the tree in the left). I used Magic Lantern firmware for this purpose since Canon 5D MKII auto-bracketing feature allows to take only 3 bracketed photos.

EXIF data:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM
Focal length: 10
Aperture: f/14
Exposure time: 1/25 ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 7
E.V. Step: 1.5 EV
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Software: Photomatix Pro 4.2.3, Lightroom 4.1, Photoshop CS5

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Friday, 20 July 2012

The Colosseum

Today a photo of the Colosseum. I used 3 RAWs here, merged and tone mapped them in Photomatix Pro. Sorry for not writing much recently but I'm rather busy but I hope to find time to write some tips or tutorial next week.

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Thursday, 19 July 2012

Castel Sant'Angelo

Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome
Today, one of my favourite HDR photos. It shows the Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome, more commonly known as the Castle of the Holy Angel (Castel Sant'Angelo). Built by the emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family, it was changed in medieval times into a fortress used by the popes. At the moment Castel Sant'Angelo is a museum.


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Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The Golden Hour

Today HDR photo taken during the golden hour in Rome.

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Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Berlin - the city of contrasts

Berlin is the city full of contrasts and differences (democratic vs. communistic, very modern vs. very old). I wanted to show some of them in this photo and I think I've managed to.

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Monday, 16 July 2012

Poble Espanyol

This time an older (from 2010) HDR photo taken in Bacelona. It shows a road in Poble Espanyol (the Spanish Village) - one of a kind open-space museum where you can find architecture, style and culture from all regions of Spain. It was built for the 1929 International Exhibition which Barcelona hosted.

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Sunday, 15 July 2012

The elephant

This time photo of an elephant taken in the Warsaw ZOO.

EXIF data:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 L IS USM
Focal length: 229
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure time: 1/200
ISO: 160
Number of exposures: 1
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: no
Software: Lightroom 4, Photoshop CS5


View Larger Map

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Saturday, 14 July 2012

One cold winter day

This year summer is very hot. That hot that it's very difficult to stand it. I therefore spend quite a lot of time watching my older winter photos. I like winter, it's very good for landscape photography - the sunsets are early and the sunrises are late (so you don't miss the breakfasts nor dinners). The light is also better and more magical than in summer. Here is one of the winter photos. I like it because despite it was freezing cold (-20 centigrade), it was very sunny what created some very nice mood.

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Friday, 13 July 2012

My first HDRs

Yesterday I accidentally found my first HDRs so I thought it will be fun to share it with you. Above photo was taken in May 2008 and merged and tone mapped in Qtpfsgui (it's the worst name for the application I've ever heard of I must admit - I cannot remember it no matter how hard I try) - free HDR software, offering a wide choice of tone mapping algorithms.

However, after this first attempt I had quite a long break in taking HDR photos - mainly because I wasn't happy with Qtpfsgui which was quite complex for me (too complex in fact). Another reason was that too many things in photography were still magic for me. However, in August 2009 I discovered Photomatix:


Above two photos were taken the same day and although they are still not good, they aren't also very grungy (from the beginning I wanted to achieve natural look with HDR). I loved Photomatix from this very day (and I use it regularly up to date) and from then I take HDR photos regularly.

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Thursday, 12 July 2012

Merry-go-round

Today HDR photo from Berlin. Even though I took it almost 2 years ago I still like it.

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Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Golden Hour

This photo was taken last year. I love the warm tones here. I wish the sky was more interesting by the time I was taking this photo.

EXIF data:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 55
Aperture: f/18
Exposure time: 1/8 ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 5
EV spacing: 2 EV
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Software: tone mapped in Photomatix Pro 4.1

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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

A bridge in Rome

It's one of the older shots (not very old though as I took it in February 2011). It depicts a bridge near the Tiberian Island in Rome. It looked quite vintage to me so I decided on the vintage HDR processing.

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Monday, 9 July 2012

Ruins in Rome

Forum Romanum
Click on the photo to view it in large size on black background.


This time HDR photo of ruins I took in the ancient part of Rome. Although the view from there was quite nice it was much more interesting to walk between all these columns and monuments (look at the people - they are really small compared to the buildings...). You can almost literally feel the past there.

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Sunday, 8 July 2012

Photomatix Essentials 3.2 is out


No daily photo today (it's so hot and the light is so harsh that I'm not shooting anything new recently). Instead I will write a few words about just released Photomatix Essentials 3.2. If you are eligible for upgrade you can download it here and if you're not you can still download it in trial mode. Here are the changes since 3.1.x release:
  • addition of many new presets - a total of 20 new built-in presets were added. They are the same presets that were added to Photomatix Pro 4.2. This makes it much easier to get started with Photomatix Essentials,
  • RAW files from newest cameras (including Canon 5D MK III and Nikon D800) are now supported. Also sRAW/mRAW files from Canon cameras are now supported.
  • Lighting Adjustments has two additional buttons now - "Natural" and "Natural+" what results in total of 5 buttons for this settings (similarly to the Pro version
  • a lot of bug fixes

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Friday, 6 July 2012

Hut by the lake - different approach

Hut by the lake
Click on the photo to view it in large size on black background.
I uploaded different photo of this hut just a few days ago. This time a bit different time of day and slightly different perspective. BTW expect some tutorials soon.

EXIF data:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM
Focal length: 10
Aperture: f/18
Exposure time: 1/8 ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 7
EV spacing: 1.5 EV
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: Hoya ND8

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Thursday, 5 July 2012

Sitting on a leaf

Another macro photo by me and the first one in which I've managed to get that close to a living thing and capture its details (and not blur the photo...). The photo isn't perfect - the wings aren't in focus - but I'm getting more and more comfortable with macro with every photo I take.

BTW fear not, more HDR photos will appear in following days. I just think that every photographer should from time to time enter fields of photography which aren't his "comfort zones". It allows one to improve general skills.

EXIF data:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 100 f/2.8 L IS USM Macro
Focal length: 100
Aperture: f/20.0
Exposure time: 1/200
ISO: 200
Flash used: yes, Nissin MF16 Macro ring flash
Tripod: no
Filters: no

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Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Bokeh Stars

Flower macro photo
Click on the photo to view it in large size on black background.
Another macro from me (I really start to like it!). As you can see bokeh produced by Canon 100L macro lens is fantastic!

EXIF data:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 100 f/2.8 L IS USM Macro
Focal length: 100
Aperture: f/20.0
Exposure time: 1/50
ISO: 640
Flash used: yes, Nissin MF16 Macro ring flash
Tripod: yes
Filters: no

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Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Hut by the lake

Another HDR landscape photo from Masuria today. I used neutral density filter from Hoya to make water a bit smoother.

EXIF data:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM
Focal length: 13
Aperture: f/22
Exposure time: 0.8s ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 7
EV spacing: 1.5 EV
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: Hoya ND8

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Monday, 2 July 2012

Another IR photo

After writing about infrared photography in one of the previous posts and uploading one of the IR photos to Facebook and 500px I got quite a lot of positive comments and questions (but not on the blog unfortunately :) ) so I decided to post yet another IR photo I took recently.

EXIF data:
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM
Focal length: 18
Aperture: f/9
Exposure time: 30s
ISO: 640
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: Hoya IR R72

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Sunday, 1 July 2012

Stars in macro cosmos

This time something very simple in terms of composition :) . However, I really like those stars in the droplets... you might think of them as of little suns in the macro world.

Also June was 7th month in a row with growing visitors number. Thank you everyone for your visits!

EXIF data:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 100 f/2.8 L IS USM Macro
Focal length: 100
Aperture: f/10
Exposure time: 1/30
ISO: 100
Flash used: yes, Nissin MF16 Macro ring flash
Tripod: yes

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