Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Attempting a new trick during sunset in Titusville

Sunset in Titusville (horizontal)
My first attempt at an HDR image.

sunset2_tville_0286After a day of photography at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, I stopped on the Indian River in Titusville and watched the sun go down Monday.

With dark storm clouds approaching the region as the sun got lower, I wasn't the only one attracted to the scene at Parrish Park along the A. Max Brewer Memorial Bridge. The roadway leads from the mainland to northern Merritt Island, where the refuge and parts of Kennedy Space Center are located.

I watched the beautiful site alongside a few families, boaters just getting in from a day of fishing and anglers casting their lines from the shore.

The occasion seemed perfect for my first stab at an HDR image (HDR stands for high dynamic range). An HDR image, of which you can find many examples on photo-sharing site Flickr.com, is an artwork consisting of photographs. The above image is an HDR piece, created in Photoshop by merging 12 exposures. The trick is to keep the camera on a tripod and take several shots at varying shutter speeds, without changing the aperture. That allows you to get detail in both the dark and bright parts of a photo.

So, in the above image, you see a little more detail in the clouds than you would in a regular image that is exposed only for the sake of capturing the sun. The vertical image (left) is a straight photograph. And truth be told, I like the photograph better.

I'll continue to experiment with HDR, but don't expect it often - just because it's not real photography, in my opinion.

Up close and personal with the sun, brought to you by my telephoto lens.

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