Tag Archives: Photomatix Pro 4
On this weeks episode of Shutter Tripping I talked about wasting a whole morning of shots by shooting at the wrong ISO simply because I didn’t recheck my settings. It became the topic of this weeks Foul Up From the Field segment. I almost deleted them, but decided to go ahead and process them in Photomatix for fun. I wanted to compare it to last image set I took at ISO 3200, to the same image shot at ISO 100 (eventually I did realize what I was doing!)
I really thought that the ISO 3200 shots would be useless, but in fact they end up quite usable. No noise reduction was applied to the photo, and they were both pretty heavily processed in Lightroom and Nik Color Efex Pro 4. Older cameras would have made a horrible picture but new modern sensors show a different story. You don’t need to shoot everything at ISO 100 to have a good photo.
Now admittedly the 2nd picture is noisier. If you look at the sky or inside the building you can see evidence of noise. However this could have been dealt with easily using noise reduction software. For shooting at such an aggressively high ISO level, it’s really quite good.
Now some of you are asking WHY would you do this. Well if you are on a tripod and you can get all of your exposures that you need you may not need to. However what about hand-holding in bad light or indoors? What about those times where it’s so dark your over exposure takes more time than your camera will stay open for without bulb mode (on a Nikon that s a 30 second exposure). You might be able to speed things up by changing your aperture, but then you sacrifice your depth of field. By raising the ISO you can decrease the shutter speed and keep the same aperture without being killed by high noise levels.
Keep in mind this was daylight and the sun was getting stronger. The same shot at night at high ISO would have been noisier. I’m not sure if it would have been to noisy or not, but I’d still rather some noise than no photo.
Great time shooting and teaching in Cleveland this weekend. My knees ache from abuse so I must have been active. I saw this building on one of my last trips into town but only had a few minutes to shoot. I went back yesterday and got some more of the exterior details. I couldn’t find a way in, which may be good considering it didn’t look real stable inside.
Happy Monday folks
OK Maybe I’m enjoying all this old rust a little too much, but it’s so much fun!
I will admit that I “tweaked” the leaves a bit using Nik Color Efex Pro 4′s Indian Summer preset. The green leaves just didn’t go well. In a week or two it will look like this anyhow so I’m not a cheater, just a time traveller.
Sometimes even the most ordinary of places can be magical if the light is right. It was dusk as I was walking down West 6th street in Cleveland a few weekends ago when I noticed the clouds at the far end of the block. The glow had a soft golden\orange hue that was just beautiful. I fired off a few frames to capture the moment and am pretty happy with the results. My only regret is that I wasn’t closer to the lake to get that same look with the water in the background. Oh well – next time.
Enjoy the day everyone.
Happy Monday Everyone
Today I’m off travelling so I need to keep this brief. I shot today’s picture over the weekend in Cleveland, OH. The fountain seems to have 3 names depending on where you source it from. First, and probably most often it is called the Fountain of Eternal Life. It is also called the War Memorial Fountain (which is a bit dull to me) and finally Peace Arising from the Flames of War which sounds way cooler in my mind. The statue is a memorial for Clevelanders who gave their lives in World War 2. It was dedicated in 1964 and designed by Marshall Fredericks.
I spent the night at Niagara Falls Sunday and was greeted with a wonderful sunrise Monday morning. I managed to grab this shot of the Horseshoe Falls before getting too wet from the mist. That big plume in the middle of the shot is a towering jet of spray that shots up 15 stories or more and sprays the area like a rain shower. Big tip I wish I had thought of – bring a rain cover for your camera even if it is beautiful out. I was soaked by the time I was done and so was the camera!
I’ll write more later on my experience. It was mixed to say the least.
I love taking pictures of flowing streams or waterfalls. Generally I bring a Neutral Density (ND) filter with me so that I can take a nice long exposure without blowing out the highlights. Sometimes though, I don’t have it with me when I see a nice spot. In this case, bracketing and HDR saves the day. For example, the picture on this page I was able to use 4 brackets and blend them together to get that “running” water look.
With a nice natural scene like this, you don’t want to go crazy with the HDR. I kept the tone-mapping down to a minimum and brought the saturation down. This isn’t a grungy scene so don’t try to make it so. With a little practice you can create a look that looks very natural (if smooth cottony water is “natural” with minimal work. I finished it up with a little selective sharpening of the rocks in Light Room 4. Not bad given the limitations of the hardware.
If anyone wants to know the exact secret sauce let me know.
You know something, as “kitschy” as a trip to Niagara Falls may seem, it is still one of the coolest places on earth. I took this on a brutally cold night in January and was amazed how the swirling mist formed into ice the moment it hit my lens, my camera – hell my beard. You know you’re crazy when you sit in the swirling vortex of icy doom just to take a picture of pretty water.
I did shoot this HDR because I didn’t have a filter with me to get a long exposure directly. The icy mist did make for a bit of “softness” in the shots. I tried to overcome that with Nik’s Color Efex Pro but then it to became “crunchy.” I never found the happy medium. Oh well, I’ll be back in a few days to try again – this time with fireworks!
Have a great day everyone.