Here’s another “lost” shot from my trip to South Dakota in 2005. To recap, I’d been fooling with HDR sequences to try out with Photoshop CS2, but I was never happy with the results. I had always liked this particular image, but couldn’t get it “right” with HDR until I reprocessed it in HDR Efex Pro, using a modified version of the “Natural Landscape” settings I developed with Tony Sweet. Suddenly, all the magic that was there that chilly October morning in Custer State Park came back to me.
Here’s another shot from the Western Museum of Mining and Industry, located just north of Colorado Springs, CO. This is a 5-shot HDR merge using Nik’s HDR Efex Pro, finished off in Capture NX 2 with some Tonal Contrast from Nik’s Color Efex Pro 3.0.
I returned to the USAF Academy yesterday determined to photograph the interior of the Cadet Chapel. The pipe organ has over 4000 pipes! I first consulted Google Earth, to determine when the sun would be illuminating the chapel’s western side. I then called ahead, to make sure there were no unplanned services this day. I brought my tripod, D3s, and two lenses; the 14-24mm AFS G Nikkor and the 24-70mm AFS G Nikkor. This shot was with the 24-70mm at 24mm. I made a 5-shot exposure sequence and blended the images in HDR Efex Pro. Final processing was with Capture NX 2. Hope you like it!
Periodically, I like to go through my old images and re-process them; it’s one of the great benefits of shooting in RAW. Being able to work with my old images in new software really opens up some options that I didn’t even consider at the time I made the shot. I captured this image in 2005 while on a photo safari in South Dakota. At the time, I was shooting a new Nikon D2x camera and I had just gotten my 17-55mm f/2.8 AFS DX zoom Nikkor lens. I also had just upgraded to Photoshop CS2, which had a new feature: “Merge to HDR.” I thought HDR could be a cool thing to learn, so I shot a lot of bracketed exposure sequences during this 5-day trip. Many of them were uninspiring. Others, I found difficult if not impossible to process, and so I just processed the best exposure in the sequence with traditional techniques (that’s the nice thing about bracketing– you’ll always have at least one “normal” exposure).
The one thing I didn’t do, however, was delete the other exposures from the bracketed sequence. They’ve just been sitting on one of my 1TB hard drives, waiting for me to give them a second chance. Fast forward to 2011, and now HDR tools have progressed to the point where you can get great results quickly and easily. So, yesterday I went back and re-processed the HDR sequence in HDR Efex Pro and Capture NX 2, and I was quite pleased! Here’s what was in the new technology that I couldn’t get in 2005. Continue reading Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow→
I had the chance to visit the USAFA Chapel yesterday. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get inside due to a funeral service. However, I did have fun with shooting some HDR brackets in extreme back-lit conditions. Other than a little lens flare from the 14-24mm f/2.8 AFS G Nikkor, I thought these came out kinda cool. The HDR shots were processed in HDR Efex Pro and then finished off in Capture NX 2. Click on any image to see a larger version.