One-Year Ago (18-December-2009) — Hawaii

Sunset over Haleakala Satellite Tracking Station: Comparison of HDR Image Processing Programs 

I used images taken at sunset last year to do a comparison of HDR (high dynamic range) processing programs. The first image is the original image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 100, f/16, 1/10 sec). The next three images are HDR composites from 5 exposures (+2, +1, 0, -1, -2 EV) using  Photoshop CS5 HDR Pro, Photomatix Pro, and Nik HDR Efex Pro. The final image was processed using DxO Optics Pro 6 using a “single-shot” HDR technique.  All of the new HDR programs have multiple, if not many presets as well as many controls to optimize the image. The HDR programs have come a long way over the last 3-4 years, where the HDR effects were often overboard. But then again, HDR can recover an uninteresting image i.e. “A derelict fishing boat along the Alaska Canada Highway

Sunset over Haleakala Satellite Tracking Station from Pu'U'Ula'Ula peak in Haleakala National Park, Maui Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 100, f/16, 1/10 sec). Original image, no HDR (David J Mathre)
Sunset over Haleakala Satellite Tracking Station from Pu’U’Ula’Ula peak in Haleakala National Park, Maui Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 100, f/16, 1/10 sec). Original image, no HDR (David J Mathre)
Sunset over Haleakala Satellite Tracking Station from Pu'U'Ula'Ula peak in Haleakala National Park, Maui Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 100, f/16, 1/10 sec). Photoshop CS5 HDR (5 images) (David J Mathre)
Sunset over Haleakala Satellite Tracking Station from Pu’U’Ula’Ula peak in Haleakala National Park, Maui Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 100, f/16, 1/10 sec). Photoshop CS5 HDR (5 images) (David J Mathre)
Sunset over Haleakala Satellite Tracking Station from Pu'U'Ula'Ula peak in Haleakala National Park, Maui Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 100, f/16, 1/10 sec). NIK HDR Pro (5 images) (David J Mathre)
Sunset over Haleakala Satellite Tracking Station from Pu’U’Ula’Ula peak in Haleakala National Park, Maui Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 100, f/16, 1/10 sec). NIK HDR Pro (5 images) (David J Mathre)
Sunset over Haleakala Satellite Tracking Station from Pu'U'Ula'Ula peak in Haleakala National Park, Maui Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 100, f/16, 1/10 sec). Single shot HDR with Dx0 Pro (David J Mathre)
Sunset over Haleakala Satellite Tracking Station from Pu’U’Ula’Ula peak in Haleakala National Park, Maui Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 100, f/16, 1/10 sec). Single shot HDR with Dx0 Pro (David J Mathre)
Sunset over Haleakala Satellite Tracking Station from Pu'U'Ula'Ula peak in Haleakala National Park, Maui Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 100, f/16, 1/10 sec). HDR with Photomatix Pro (5 images) (David J Mathre)
Sunset over Haleakala Satellite Tracking Station from Pu’U’Ula’Ula peak in Haleakala National Park, Maui Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 100, f/16, 1/10 sec). HDR with Photomatix Pro (5 images) (David J Mathre)
Sunset over Haleakala Satellite Tracking Station from Pu'U'Ula'Ula peak in Haleakala National Park, Maui Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 100, f/16, 1/10 sec). Photomatix HDR (5 images) (David J Mathre)
Sunset over Haleakala Satellite Tracking Station from Pu’U’Ula’Ula peak in Haleakala National Park, Maui Hawaii. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 100, f/16, 1/10 sec). Photomatix HDR (5 images) (David J Mathre)

22-June-2010

After the Thunderstorm.

View looking south after a late spring thunderstorm in New Jersey. The sky cleared and there was a view of the moon over a thunderhead being lit up by the setting sun.

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Moon over Thunderhead at Sundown. Last Day of Spring in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 200, 50 mm, f/11, 1/50 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro 6, Nik Color Efex (Tonal Contrast), Nik Define, and Photoshop CS5. (David J Mathre)
Moon over Thunderhead at Sundown. Last Day of Spring in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 200, 50 mm, f/11, 1/50 sec). Raw image processed with Capture One Pro 6, Nik Color Efex (Tonal Contrast), Nik Define, and Photoshop CS5.

Thursday (15-April-2010) — California

Gone to See America 2010. Big Sur Photography Workshop with Michael Mariant. Day 1: Afternoon/Evening.

For the Afternoon, we spent time at Redwood Gulch Falls. The light levels within the forest near the falls ranged from very bright to very dark — well beyond the capability of DSLR sensors. Here I used Singh-Ray filters (to smooth out the water flow) and HDR (took 5 images under and over exposed) which were then combined using Photomatix. Later on we traveled to Sand Dollar beach. Our first exercise was to use filters at the beach to give the waves a soft ethereal effect. As the sun set over the Pacific ocean, I used HDR again to adapt to the wide range of light.

Redwood Gulch Falls, Los Padres National Forest, Central California Coast. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/16, 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 30 sec). Singh-Ray Filter. HDR Composite of 5 images using Photomatix Pro. (David J Mathre)
Redwood Gulch Falls, Los Padres National Forest, Central California Coast. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/16, 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 30 sec). Singh-Ray Filter. HDR Composite of 5 images using Photomatix Pro.
Redwood Gulch Falls, Los Padres National Forest, Central California Coast. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/16, 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 30 sec). Singh-Ray Filter. HDR Composite of 5 images using Photomatix Pro. (David J Mathre)
Redwood Gulch Falls, Los Padres National Forest, Central California Coast. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/16, 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 30 sec). Singh-Ray Filter. HDR Composite of 5 images using Photomatix Pro.
Long Exposure Exercise at Sand Dollar Beach, Big Sur Central California Coast. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens and Singh-Ray Filter (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/16, 5 sec). (David J Mathre)
Long Exposure Exercise at Sand Dollar Beach, Big Sur Central California Coast. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens and Singh-Ray Filter (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/16, 5 sec).
Long Exposure Exercise at Sand Dollar Beach, Big Sur Central California Coast. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens and Singh-Ray Filter (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/16, 15 sec). (David J Mathre)
Long Exposure Exercise at Sand Dollar Beach, Big Sur Central California Coast. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens and Singh-Ray Filter (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/16, 15 sec).
Long Exposure Exercise at Sand Dollar Beach, Big Sur Central California Coast. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens and Singh-Ray Filter (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/16, 15 sec). (David J Mathre)
Long Exposure Exercise at Sand Dollar Beach, Big Sur Central California Coast. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens and Singh-Ray Filter (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/16, 15 sec).
Long Exposure Exercise at Sand Dollar Beach, Big Sur Central California Coast. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens and Singh-Ray Filter (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/16, 8 sec). (David J Mathre)
Long Exposure Exercise at Sand Dollar Beach, Big Sur Central California Coast. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens and Singh-Ray Filter (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/16, 8 sec).
Long Exposure Exercise at Sand Dollar Beach, Big Sur Central California Coast. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens and Singh-Ray Filter (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/16, 15 sec). (David J Mathre)
Long Exposure Exercise at Sand Dollar Beach, Big Sur Central California Coast. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens and Singh-Ray Filter (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/16, 15 sec).
Sunset at Sand Dollar Beach, Big Sur Central California Coast. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/16, 1/5, 1/10, 1/20, 1/40, 1/80 sec). HDR Composite of 5 images using Photomatix Pro. (David J Mathre)
Sunset at Sand Dollar Beach, Big Sur Central California Coast. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, 50 mm, f/16, 1/5, 1/10, 1/20, 1/40, 1/80 sec). HDR Composite of 5 images using Photomatix Pro.

Saturday (27-February-2010) — California

Photography Workshop “Yosemite in Winter: A Season of Contrast” with Michael Mariant. Day 3: Yosemite National Park.

Images from Day 3 of the 2010″Yosemite in Winter: A Season of Contrast” photography workshop with Michael Mariant. Most of the day it snowed and rained in the valley. At the end of the day, several of us were working on images in the recently renovated Curry Village Lounge. Someone came in and said go outside at look at Half Dome as it was being lit up with a sunset glow. The only camera I had with me was the D3x that had been acting up with electronic problems. I had minimal control of aperture and shutter speed, but still got some amazing images.

Half Dome at Sunset from Curry Village in Yosemite National Park. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, f/4, 1/250 sec) (David J Mathre)
Half Dome at Sunset from Curry Village in Yosemite National Park. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 50 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, f/4, 1/250 sec) (David J Mathre)