Wednesday, June 08, 2011

HDR photo - San Jose Museum of Art

San Jose Museum of Art

A reader asked me to post a heavy HDR photo of a building. I did not have any that I liked a whole lot, so I selected this shot of the San Jose Museum of Art instead. I took it with a handheld three shot sequence and simply processed it on default settings using Photomatrix Pro. This is what it looked like without any further processing. I like the effect, but it’s way too blue for my tastes. I’ve been working on this shot as a black and White image using the middle photo from my bracket sequence. I like the result much better, but It’s not ready for prime time – I’m having cropping issues.

To answer my reader’s question – “Is it hard to shoot a good HDR photo of a building?” I have to answer yes. It’s hard for me because I don’t have the right lens to correct for perspective, so I’m almost never happy shooting a building  unless it’s a profile or a detail. On the other hand, HDR is easy if you practice. I consider this a practice shot. I worked on my three shot bracketing technique on a dozen shots taken over a weekend in San Jose on Memorial Day. I really liked one of he twelve. There rest were just ok. The key to getting better is practice.

I attended a seminar a year ago where the instructors talked about mastering your techniques so that when you are in the field you can use them just like you would take a snap shot.  I focused on three techniques, two were HDR and one was focusing. I’m good with one of the HDR methods and I’ve nailed the focusing technique, but trying to do a hand held five frame sequence evades me. Most of my results are trash.

My advice – master the technique through practice.

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