Working in HDR

I’ve been working in Aurora HDR software, and had the chance to actually shoot some images specifically for practice. I think most High Dynamic Range photographs are overdone, but HDR does address a common issue. Cameras and people see things differently.

My perception of today was a bright, sunshine-filled day with brilliant green trees, bright blue sky and all of the colors of spring, both subtle and dynamic. What the camera “sees” is something different. Exposing for the trees on the far bank leaves the sky washed out. Exposing for the foreground darkens the trees on the other side.

HDR addresses those issues. The image above  is a blend of three different exposures which better captures the way the lake felt. I’m still learning how to put this together, there are a lot of options in the Aurora HDR software, but I’ve been pretty pleased with the results so far.

The St. Augustine experience

“Party like it’s 1565” seemed to be just about everywhere in St. Augustine. The catchy phrase showed up on T-shirts, bumper stickers and perhaps even tramp stamps. (I didn’t spend any time investigating the latter.)

Hotel Alcazar building in downtown St. Augustine houses the Lightner Museum along with City Hall and various other shops . This 1887 Spanish Renaissance Revival style building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Hotel Alcazar building in downtown St. Augustine houses the Lightner Museum along with City Hall and various other shops . This 1887 Spanish Renaissance Revival style building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The slogan refers to the Florida city’s founding, making it the oldest continuously occupied, European-settled cities on the North American continent. All of the conditionals are important because there are challengers to the claim. Let’s just say St. Augustine is old. But partying like it was 1565? That’s the unintended story of St. Augustine in a nutshell.

Those who know anything about history, understand that there really wasn’t much to party about in 1565. Ivan The Terrible was about to become terrible. England was still attempting to recover from Henry VIII. France and Spain were jostling for control of the New World. The Spanish would execute some 300 French soldiers and sailors in settling and defending St. Augustine.

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Bear Rocks, Dolly Sods

Bear Rocks

I just sold a copy of this print. Bear Rocks near Dolly Sods in the mountains of West Virginia is a favorite place.

The Wikipedia entry says this (in part):

Bear Rocks is a remarkably scenic, windswept summit atop one of West Virginia’s highest mountains. It is perched on a ridge of sandstone cliffs and is a rock outcropping on the Allegheny Front with a 2,000 to 3,000-foot (600 to 1,000 m) drop below that forms the Eastern Continental Divide. To the east, looking out over the South Branch of the Potomac River, which drains into theAtlantic Ocean via the Chesapeake Bay, there are breathtaking 35-mile (56 km) views where seven mountain ridges are visible on a clear day extending into Virginia. On the clearest days you can see Hawksbill Mountain and Stony Man, the highest peaks in Shenandoah National Park. To the west, water drains into Dolly Sods towards Red Creek, which eventually flows to the Gulf of Mexico via the Dry Fork River, Black Fork, Cheat, Mongahela, Ohio and Mississippi River.

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