Every minute of my spare time this week has gone toward editing spring break roadtrip photos, of which there are many. I’m not done yet, alas, but here’s a snapshot of the variety of photos you’ll see on my blog and in my Flickr if you check back later!
And those are just a few of the 107 digital photos I’ve edited (but not all 107 will be posted on-line!). I just got my film developed, so it’ll be a while before I have it scanned and edited. Currently, I’m working on the HDR images. Not sure how many of those I’ll have in the end.
Here are my thoughts about HDR (high dynamic range): Sometimes it can be done very well. I’d like to say that most of the time, it can be done very well. But some photographers (no names, no examples — that’s mean) really go overboard and create HDR images that just scream, “I AM HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE.”
Ideally, HDR images are created using five or more exposures that are bracketed, or taken at different exposures (typically via changing the shutter speed). But because we didn’t carry a tripod around with us everywhere on the trip, we took three bracketed exposures for our HDR purposes. So I’d find something I want to shoot, make sure my drive was set on hyper (to increase the speed at which the exposures were taken and decrease the probability of camera movement between the exposures), set my bracketing stops and fire off three exposures.
So even if I wanted to, I can’t create an HDR image that screams, “I AM HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE,” simply because I only took three exposures. But I don’t want to anyway. My approach is to create an image that looks like a normal exposure but with greater detail in the shadows and highlights. Why not just use Photoshop’s Shadow/Highlight tool on a correctly exposed image? Because, in many of the places we photographed, the sky was too bright and the shadows cast by/on the rocks and foliage were too dark to retain any detail in those areas.
In conclusion — I have a lot of work cut out for me still, what with scanning/editing my film and editing HDR. I want to wait until it’s all done before I start posting photos on-line, just for the sake of keeping everything in chronological order. So hopefully I’ll be ready to do that within the next week. But no guarantees.
In the meantime, you can check out the snapshots I provided above and be amazed by the variety of places we visited and passed. (More than a few of those photos were taken out of the car window as we sailed past at 65 or 70 miles per hour.) I’m still astonished that we were able to complete such an incredible itinerary in seven days. Although really, it was six, because on the seventh day, we drove back home through Colorado and Kansas. Terrible drive.
Anyway. Check back later for photos!