Colourful Oak

Colourful Oak

Around 2/3 years ago I discovered HDR (high dynamic range) photography. For those who don’t know, this involves taking multiple exposures of the same scene and then combining them together to create one image with a high dynamic range. I.e. if you took a picture of a landscape with hills, sky and clouds then you may face the problem of the sky being overexposed while the hills are perfect. Or vice versa; the hills underexposed and the sky showing the clouds clearly. HDR photography is one solution to this problem. However, maybe something others have experienced, once you discover HDR it’s difficult to prise yourself away from it. In my case it had in some ways a detrimental effect on my photography. Suddenly I would take almost any scene and HDR-it. A friend who had also hit the HDR hole showed me this graph which I think describes the phenomenon quite well. So I decided to move away from HDR photography, at least for a short while anyway. I still use HDR as, let’s be honest, it does make for some fantastic images. But I try to not over use it and use it in a subtle way, such as this image I’m posting today. I went for a walk yesterday up on the hills near my parents’ house in south Wales. Actually I was hoping for a nice landscape shot of the rolling hills. Snow has just started to settle on some of the higher peaks and the contrast between white and green is really nice. Unfortunately the light and the clouds were not working to my favour. Instead I took this rather different shot of a fallen branch from an Oak tree. I took 3 exposures and combined them using Photomatix to create this subtle HDR image.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix G2
Lens: 45-200mm @ 45mm
ISO: 100
Aperture: f/4
Shutter: 1/60 sec (0 Step); 1/125 (-1 Step); 1/30 (+1 Step)

Post processing:
Photomatix 4.0

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