Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Pigeon Point Sunset splash

Pigeon Point Sunset splash. I cought the sun dipping down between the old Fuel Bunker and the Seal House Hostel tonight. A blanket of overcast clouds sheeted over most of the afternoon, but the western horizon had gap big enough to display a good sunset. After messing around in a few different angles, I found this one by accident. Although the clouds had disspersed a little to much, I like how it came out. HDR 9 shots.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pigeon Point Lighthouse Sunrise over the whale skull

Pigeon Point Whale Skull Sunrise

Pigeon Point Whale Skull Sunrise. This is one of my favorite shots and done in HDR. 9 shots tonemapped into one. Taken April 21st, 2011 at 7:21 A.M. f/19 15mm lens Buy at:

Friday, June 17, 2011


Halfdome Black and White
Half Dome from Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California.
I recently visited Yosemite with my brother and was blessed with good weather, gushing waterfalls and great lessons from the Ansel Adams Gallery staff. We stayed at the Hostelling International Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort in Midpines.
I took a 4 hour class with Christine White-Loberg, who was entertaining, funny and informative for a wide range of photographers. Phillip Nicholas and Lucas were also very helpful.
This image is a high dynamic range image from 9 photographs tone mapped together with Photomax Pro and some adjustments in Lightroom 3. I took the photos on June 10th, 2011 from Glacier Point at 1:41 P.M. at f/32 aperture priority with each photo bracketed 1 stop apart from -5 to +3. ISO 100 and the focal length was 58mm from my Nikon D90. WB was auto. I precariously set my sturdy tripod up in the crowded corner of the viewing platform corner wall after patiently waiting for the zillion tourists to take their photo and move on. The auto bracket sequence is ->0>+ and I use the auto timer to keep the shake down as well as the moving the mirror up a few seconds before the shutter opens. the D90 will also trigger 3 shots automatically during the timer mode, but no more than 3 so I have to manually set the bracket values fairly fast before the clouds move too far. With a 1 stop bracket difference, I set up the first set of 3 shots at -4, so when the sequence fires each shot it starts off at -5 > -4 > -3. I then have to adjust the next set to -1 (-2 > -1 > 0) and the last set at +2 (+1 > +2 > +3) to get all 9 shots a stop apart.
Photomatix tone maps the 9 images together to get the HDR image with the perfect exposures and I adjust the image in Lightroom.
To see all my Yosemite pictures from this trip visit
Not all the photographs I shot are HDR, because as Christine said, "that's cheating." I purchased a 4 stop graduated filter and lens holder, but that's for another blog...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

HDR Hot Rods

20110529Hot Rods-black automobile
In Capitola California I found a little gathering of hot rods showing in the parking lot across from the DMV on Capitola Ave near the Jewel district. I had my camera and gear and a few business cards so I decided to shoot a few of the cars I liked and see how they come out when I tone mapped 9 images into one high dynamic range image. I shot with my Nikon D90 with my 15mm 1:2.80 SIGMA EXDG FISHEYE. I gave my card to a few guys and then a few asked me to take pictures of their hot rod. At first, I had my settings mistakenly set to Programmed Auto mode. After a few cars I realized my mistake and set it to Aperture mode. I changed the f/stop around a few times, but kept it around f/16. White balance was auto. After I set up the image in Live View, I make sure my attached bubble level is even and then set up the bracketing sequence. Because it is Aperture mode, the speed is the variable. I bracket down to -4 and set it to auto timer and it will shoot 3 shots a stop apart -1, 0 & +1 in sequence. That way I get a -5, -4, -3 when I set it to -4. Then I dial down the auto bracket set to -1 and then finally +2 with 3 shots each equaling 9 shots all in separate brackets a stop apart. In Lightroom 3, I export them to Photomatix Pro that will tone map the 9 images into one HDRI. There are a variety of settings, but the grunge effect is the most dramatic when shooting hot rods. I was even able to get a 3 image photo of a group of Rumours The Salon employees posing in the back of a hot rod flatbed truck with beautiful wood railings. Amazing none of the models moved during the 3 shots thus messing up the final image. Anyways, I hop the owners find the images and like them enough to purchase a few or set up some new shots!