More HDR Photography – Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park

It was another bright sunny January early afternoon today – following a clear, crisp night last night with temps early this morning in the mid-30’s and frost on the deck!

Getting Outside

Allied Arts Guild, Menlo Park, CA

HDR – Fully Processed

After (seemingly!) playing endlessly with Twitter and FriendFeed this morning, I decided to leave the computer behind and to head outdoors to do some more mid-day, bright sun, high dynamic range (HDR) photography. For me, HDR is perfect for mid-day, high contrast sun/shadow photography – just the opposite of that special early morning / early evening soft light that photographers otherwise learn to love.

This time, I wanted to stay close to home and minimize the travel time. Stanford University is always an option – it’s literally just around the corner and is where I started my HDR exploits in early September 2008. There’s a world of photo opportunities still waiting for me there at Stanford. But, been there, done that! I was looking for new adventures today!

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My 2009 Wish: Make Beautiful HDR Photography Super Simple!

This is a bit of a New Year’s Eve rant – and a wish for 2009!

Computers are here to help us make things more productive and efficient. Unfortunately, computers today (including the processors both in my MacBook Pro and in my Canon DSLRs!) have yet to be utilized appropriately in helping us both take the photos and manage the post-production process associated with High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography.

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First Time Out with HDR Photography on a Canon 40D

[Update – 12/29/08 – Just added some new HDR photos taken in San Francisco last Sunday (Palace of Fine Arts and the “Painted Ladies” Victorian homes), Menlo Park yesterday (Sharon Park), and some earlier ones from Half Moon Bay (grounds of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel) and Pescadero. See my full collection of HDR stuff here on Flickr. I’m still learning and welcome all feedback!]

[Update – 12/22/08 – Very good HDR tutorial here: How to Create High Dynamic Range Photos]

After meeting up with a friend recently who turned out to be quite an HDR photography guru, I wanted to try my hand using that technique. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been in awe of some of the striking photos that others have taken using HDR. In early 2007 up at Lake Tahoe I had tried fooling around using Photoshop CS3’s HDR support – but it turns out to be only a partial solution and I found the results to be lackluster.

This afternoon, I headed over to the Stanford Quad for an exploratory session in High Dynamic Range photography. My kit was my Canon 40D, a Canon 24-105MM f4 L IS USM Zoom lens, and my trusty (but, as it turns out, weak-headed) Manfrotto tripod.

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