Tag Archive for 'processing'

Stunning HDR Time Lapses – Using Robotics.

A photo of Tanguy's motion control rig. More below.

by Gavin Seim: As an HDR nerd and teacher I’m not easy to impress. But this did it. Tanguy Louvigny. did this really stunning sequence of HDR time lapses and really nailed it on various levels. First, as an dynamic range guy, I really admire how the process he used in Photomatix is balanced and didn’t go for that way over the top tonemap process.

Next he managed the motion using his own rig made with Tetrix robotics, and controlled it with Mindstorms Brick (actually a Lego product), then programmed it in Robot C. Impressive indeed. You can see more photos of his rig here.

His result for all this was a really stunning body of time lapse work. I hope to look closer at the system that he used for his rig. It seems there’s some possibilities there. You can also read a bit more on picturecorrect as they did a little interview asking Tanguy some detail questions.

All in all it’s quite impressive. Watch the video below and check out his site. And since we’re on the HDR topic, I’ll throw in a shameless plug  and add that if you want to learn more about capturing and processing HDR, check out my HDR Magic video training series... Gav

Here’s a forest series he did using the same setup. Continue reading ‘Stunning HDR Time Lapses – Using Robotics.’

5 Essential Keys of Amazing Photographs.

By Gavin Seim

Simplicity is key to a great photograph. It turns even complex scenes into stunning beauty by controlling elements, light, and tone.

It’s not about how much is in a photograph. It’s about how we showcase our subject in relation to that supporting cast of elements. Now I’m not suggesting the images I show are “perfect.” It’s rare that I get everything dead on, and I can always find something I should have done better. But truly understanding and mastering these elements WILL raise the bar on our images and allow us to see in a new way.

1. Visualize.
Everyone says they’re doing it, but few actually are. You should truly “see” the scene in your mind’s eye; not what’s in the viewfinder but the finished image after the exposure, even after editing. You should see the image you want after the process is finished. It’s fairly simple, but in the rush we often fail to slow down and think carefully about the lines, elements, and tones in our scene. That’s one reason why I love working with a tripod. It takes my focus away from holding a camera and puts it on the scene in front of me.

Ansel Adams said, “The whole key lies very specifically in seeing it in the mind’s eye which we call visualization.”

Sunsets Hidden Falls, Yosemite 2010, Gavin Seim - I used a layer based HDR process on this, processing my light and dark frames as silver and layer blending in Photoshop. I spent a good deal of time on the composition and tonal control to try and keep the scene simple while still showing all the elements. You can see the stone faces on Zones 6-7, with the foreground elements falling drastically all the way down to Zone 1, keeping them as supporting cast from becoming too distracting.

 

2. The Light & The Zones.

Expose for what you want in your image, not what the camera sees. This goes right along with visualization, and the Zone scale is the best way I know of, both to visualize and to control values. It allows us to see in our mind’s eye the Zones in a scene and place them where we want, using exposure, and finally tonal edits. For more on detailed tonal value control, see the counter article to this one, 3 Critical Elements of Controlling Tonal Values.

The Zone scale from 1-10. Middle grey is Zone V (5). This shows the darkest dark to the lightest light and is invaluable for simple visualizing and exposing a scene. Each step represents a stop, making it easy to move your exposure up or down and place an element in a given zone.

 

Continue reading ‘5 Essential Keys of Amazing Photographs.’

Lightroom2 VS Lightroom3 Process Examples Compared:

by Gavin Seim: I’ll be talking more about Lightroom soon, but I wanted to make a quick post about what I found most significant in LR3. It’s the processing. It may go unnoticed at a glance, but is so much better, that by itself makes LR3 worth the upgrade. This first example shows an ISO 50,000 image from a 1D MKIV, showing just how impressive the new noise reduction and processing in LR3 is (not to mention the camera). I did this in LR3 by simply switching it back and forth from new to old process version (in the camera calibration settings).

Next is a lower 640 ISO example. For this one I actually processed the first in LR2 itself and the other in LR3. While not so obvious (click for the large version) it shows the subtle quality of not just the noise reduction, the the quality of how the file is being processed. Notice in the large version how the LR3 version feels more organic, almost film like in quality. I love it and you can be sure I’m getting under the hood in LR3 to see what’s possible for workshops and my Seim Effects presets.