Posts Tagged ‘HDR’

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New Year, New View

In Uncategorized on January 1, 2013 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Set233from_IMG_8491

2011 was a bad year.

However, in 2012 I got married, honeymooned in Barcelona and moved into a new house in Sheffield, UK. Above is a 3-shot HDR taken out of the window in the spare bedroom.

2012 was a good year.

We didn’t buy the house for the views, but it is at the top of a hill, the garden is south-facing and the front room looks out over Sheffield, our chosen home city. From the point of view of a photographer, filmmaker and visual artist, things could be worse.

What’s more, 2012 started with an amazing couple of sub-freezing temperatures that gave me a rare opportunity to shoot the Sheffield Roundwalk in very frosty conditions.

Screen shot 2012-12-31 at 14.25.52

So here’s to 2013. Expect more lots HDR photography and timelapse video, some of it shot from the comfort of my own home.

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Mr. Magic Hour strikes again!

In Uncategorized on October 2, 2012 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Norton Cemetary, Sheffield, UK

Isn’t Sheffield brilliant! In cinematography, “Magic Hour” or “Golden Hour” is that time of day when the sun is low in the sky and produces warm tones with low contrast shadows.

Graves Park, Leeshall Wood & Norton Lees Golf Course, Sheffield, UK

These were all taken close to where I live, and I’ve shot these places many times. However, it’s hard to resist given such fantastic conditions.

Carr Wood & Graves Park, Sheffield, UK

Some of these are single shots, adjusted to create silhouettes, and the others are high dynamic range (HDR), processed with Photomatix Pro from 3 exposures. Lots more photos of Sheffield and many other places on my Flickr account.

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I love Barcelona but my ♥ belongs to Sheffield

In Uncategorized on September 10, 2012 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, and the Q-Park ‘Cheesegrater” & St. Paul’s Tower, Sheffield.

The honeymoon is over. No, really, I got married earlier in the summer and we spent our honeymoon in Barcelona. It’s something of a treat for lovers of architecture and the Catalonians are very proud of their artistic heritage. I loved every minute of it; the architecture, the food, the culture, the weather. How could you not love Barcelona?

Part of the Olympic Park, Barcelona, and the new South Street Park, Sheffield.

However, I prefer Sheffield. I ♥ Sheffield. I was not born here but I grew up nearby. I’ve lived in Sheffield since 2003, but I wish I’d moved here earlier.

The Arc de Triomf, Barcelona, and The Cutlers’ Hall, Sheffield.

What’s more, we have a few architectural gems of our own. Here are some high dynamic range (HDR) photos taken in both cities.
welcometosheffield.co.uk

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No such thing as an authentic photograph

In Uncategorized on January 9, 2012 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , ,

“For a creative writer possession of the “truth” is less important than emotional sincerity.” George Orwell (1903 – 1950)

I grew up in a world where professional photography was a distant and unattainable world. Nowadays everyone has a camera. Everyone. And taking pictures has become as much a part of our daily lives as eating our meals and, in my case, sometimes simultaneously.

I was first drawn to high dynamic range (HDR) imaging in 2008 after seeing very striking images online. My own approach is to make authentic looking photographs, that capture more of the detail and colour depth that is seen by the human eye, rather than the limited range represented by “normal” photography.

I always say “there is no such thing as an authentic photograph”, and when I say it I think of the iconic photograph by Yevgeny Khaldei (1917 – 1997), of a Russian soldier raising the Soviet flag on the Reichstag after the invasion of Berlin during the Second World War. The high-contrast black and white photograph has become a benchmark of authenticity, but only because it has been made universally familiar by newspapers. However, neither a still, nor a moving image can ever be more than an impression of the scene.

The original photograph (above), the added smoke (top right) and the final manipulated composite (bottom right).

Without going into too much detail, current information claims that the photograph was manipulated to remove the extra wristwatches (obviously looted) from the Heroes of the Soviet Union, and to add more smoke in the background, making a more dramatic composition. Whatever the manipulation, there is no doubting the veracity, or truthfulness, or as Orwell would say “emotional sincerity”, of the image. The terrifying fragility of the situation in a blasted city still in a state of war is clearly communicated.

Here are the 3 original shots used to create the image above. It was a very bright, windy day and the composite, adjusted and cropped, tone-compressed HDR (using Photomatix Pro) gives an “authentic impression” of the scene.

My own dilemma is informed by my desire to capture what I see as authentically as possible, but no camera nor combination of techniques will ever capture a “true” image.

Lots more of my photography on Flickr.

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Shooting into the light – Experiments in HDR

In Uncategorized on December 1, 2011 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , ,

I have been experimenting with high dynamic range (HDR) photography since 2008. I first became interested when I was researching for an application for artist-in-residence at The Lowry Theatre, Salford, Manchester, UK. I was searching for reference images on Flickr.com and came across HDR photos and was struck by the increased perception of detail and colour depth.

At first, it was a very frustrating technique to use and it took me a while to get any results that I was in the least satisfied with. Just to make things even harder for myself, here are a few recent examples of my experiments shooting directly into the sun.

I use Photomatix Pro for post-processing 3 exposure bracketed images with +/- 2EV. I mostly shoot hand-held and find that the combination of Canon image-stabilised (IS) lenses and the software correction of Photomatix Pro (usually) compensates for my WobblyCam shooting.

Lots more HDR photography on my Flickr account.

Photomatix Pro is available here:
hdrsoft.com

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Double Exposure – The Art of Commerce

In Uncategorized on October 12, 2011 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunrise at The Quadrant, Sheffield, UK

I am both a commercial media producer and a fine artist. As an artist, my ambition is to make beautiful, meaningful and lasting work for a general audience. I make my work for the world-at-large and I see no conflict of interests in being a commercial artist and also a fine artist. In fact, this is a very traditional approach, and I see myself as a traditionalist, although I use very modern technology and techniques.

This week has seen success for me in both worlds with my work being acknowledged as a commercial success and also being selected for an international film festival.

Still from The Quadrant video promo

Recently, I completed a job for The Quadrant, a managed workspace in Sheffield, UK, and this is a good example of how the two worlds of art and commerce can benefit from each other. I was commissioned to make a commercial promotional video and was given 24-hour access to their building. I saw an opportunity to make something of my own at the same time. Not instead of, but as well as.

I have been experimenting with techniques to capture high dynamic range (HDR) time-lapse video since 2008 and I saw an opportunity to test my workflow. I shot a number of views of the building as the sun moved during the day, and used the open-source Canon Hack Development Kit (CHDK) to enable Canon PowerShot compact cameras to shoot multiple-exposure time-lapse. For the promo I mixed these shots with other timelapse shots of activity within the building. The Quadrant are very happy with the promo I made for them, particularly as it is markedly different from the usual commercial promo, and this is what an artist can bring to a project, a high degree of innovation and a different way of looking at the world. Here is the finished video, music by Laurence Alexander:

I used the clips of HDR time-lapse to make a completely separate piece of work that is an artwork rather than a promo. This is part of an ongoing body of work called “The Secret Life of Buildings” and is a collection of video works that attempt to capture the essence of the building, rather than to simply document it.

Still from The Secret Life of Buildings #6

This work has been selected to be shown at the Chronos 2011 Film Festival of time-lapse, slow-motion and stop-motion in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and here is The Secret Life of Buildings #6 with music by Erik Satie, played by BL Underwood:

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Electric Works, Sheffield, UK – High Dynamic Range (HDR) photos

In Uncategorized on October 4, 2011 by Admin Tagged: , , , , ,

Electric Works is an office space in Sheffield, UK, catering for creative, digital and media businesses. Here is a link to some high dynamic range (HDR) shots I took on the unseasonably warm and sunny first day of October 2011. Post-processed with Photomatix Pro.
electric-works.net