Just spending some quality time at the computer today and thought I’d dig into my HDR image archives. This photo is from a color version that I posted a little over a year ago in an article about “The Art of Technique” that details a few methods that I use for more artistic, photographic results.
For today, I created this monochrome version which kinda goes along with the day here in Eastern North Carolina . . . cool, cloudy with lots of rain. Oh well!
This green fern and red flowers creates a nice black and white image to end my Monochrome week. (The color version is included below.) This photograph was from a trip to the Missouri Botanical Gardens one summer. I’ll be going back there this year and plan to do some major bracketing.
This is a shot of the same plant that I worked with a few months ago. The buds were there then but not yet “coming into color” so to speak. This pseudo-HDR image shows a little more progress. But, they’re still not opening up fully due to our crazy weather here in eastern North Carolina. At any rate, I thought this bud was still worthy of display with it’s intensely vibrant colors.
I got in close with my 105mm macro (micro in Nikon speak) lens set at f/5.6 with camera settings of 1/500 sec and ISO at 400. The day was very cloudy so the lighting was pretty flat. I simply loaded the single raw file into Adobe Camera Raw for post processing.
After basic light, contrast, clarity, vibrance and saturation adjustments, I added sharpening and luminosity for a crisp yet smooth look. What a contradiction. Anyway, the Camera Raw results can be pretty impressive. I only used Adobe Photoshop CS6 for enlargement to post on 500px.com .
I’m hoping that these buds will blossom into full bloom. If they do, I’ll try to get a good shot. If not, maybe next year.
The fun of macro photography is getting more detail that is normally expected from small spaces. With this non HDR image, I selected a small part of the flower to enhance the beautiful yellow petals. And by exaggerating the center section, the yellow is even more pronounced. The beautiful bokeh is complements of my Nikkor 105mm micro lens.
This is one of those minimalist images that can even work in a smooth toned monochrome.
Note: I’m traveling for a few days and won’t have much access to my technology. I’ll try to respond to comments.
This macro High Dynamic Range (HDR) image of a small orchid is an example of how a very selective, shallow depth of focus can create a creamy, dreamy photo of a simple subject.
Processing: I loaded five shots exposed from -2 to +2 ev into Adobe Photoshop CS6 for a single blended image. I used Hue/Saturation and Shadows/Highlights along with very selective sharpening. For a final enhancement, I added a layer and painted additional shadow areas in the orchid for more depth.
Equipment used: Nikon D700 with Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 lens, f/11, ISO 200.
Another High Dynamic Range (HDR) Image natural, and one of the most beautiful and prolific flowering plants in my neighborhood, is the Hydrangea. It seems that everyone has at least one plant and the various colors are incredible. This is our prize specimen. And I almost missed the peak color since I shot this about two days before the beautiful blooms started to fade.
The wonderful thing about these images is that very little post processing is necessary. Since the natural colors are so vibrant, especially with the late afternoon sun as a backlight, the most realistic shot is the most perfect shot. At least, that’s my opinion.
I’ve included this close up of one of the Hydrangeas that my neighbors, Jack and Jan, have so meticulously nourished. Beautiful, isn’t it!
These images were made from five shots processed in Nik HDR Efex Pro and Adobe Photoshop. I used my Nikon D700 with 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5 lens.
Aw, just kidding! Actually, this is one of the most beautiful blooming plants that we’ve ever had. But, I’ve always thought that those tan things look like teeth.
I shot this Lipstick plant a few years ago when I first started using a digital camera. It was my new Nikon D100 (basically first edition) with my old 105mm Nikkor Micro lens. That made it a 157mm macro lens. . .great for getting close at a distance but not for deep depth of field in low light. But, notice that incredibly creamy bokeh. Love that lens!
Processing: These images were processed exclusively in Adobe Photoshop. Before HDR imaging became popular, many of us would process raw images in photoshop and get just about the same results. As you can see in the second image below, the tonal range is beautiful for pseudo-HDR.Equipment: Nikon D100 with 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor set to f/8.0 (top) and f/11 (bottom) with ISO 200. Bogen/Manfrotto 3221 tripod with 3028 Manfrotto head