Indian Wells, CA – HDR

Indian Wells HDR

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR, HDR in Photomatix

Here is another lovely picture from our trip to Palm Springs.  Indian Wells is a small town next to Palm Springs.  This is actually the town that holds the tennis tournament we visit.  So we decided this past trip to stay at the hotel that has shuttle service to the tournament….Marriott Esmeralda….that way we do not have to worry about parking.   We were there 3 nights.  It is a nice hotel…not too expensive.  Many of the European tennis players that were at the tournament were staying there also due to the close proximity to the courts.   At nite it was fun to walk around with the tennis pros!  Some were even on our AM elevator rides, walking by us at the pool…you would look over and say to yourself…isnt that ????   And it was!  Made the trip fun!

While walking around poolside that afternoon…I wanted to capture some photos of the surrounding landscape.   I took some shots of flowers, palm trees…and this shot.   I saw the colors, afternoon sun and shadows…and luckily some puffy clouds in the distance.  I thought HDR!  This was made with 5 exposures, then processed in Photomatix….touch up in Lightroom 2.0.  My usual method.   For HDR’s you can use 3 exposures or 5.  I have found that 5 exposures gives you that more realistic shot.   This picture was taken also hand held.  It was about 85 degrees that day…I figured the sunbathers poolside didnt want to see my tripod block any sunlight! 

We really enojoy Palm Springs.  Its a great place to relax and enjoy.  You can play golf, tennis, relax and enjoy the wonderful restaurants at nite in the surrounding towns.  Visit if you can!

Palm Springs, California – IR Photo

Palm Springs IR

NIKON D70S  (modified IR by Life Pixel), Nikon 18-70, Photoshop

Here is a pretty cool shot I took this morning.  I’m sure you are wondering how it was done?  It is an IR (Infrared) Photo.   This was in my first downloads on my trial run for the IR camera I just had convereted.   So this process is all new to me!   Seemed very easy!

Many cameras can be converted to IR or if not can be used with an IR filter.   I had heard it was better to have the camera converted to IR as you get to look at the end result on your view finder.  If you use a filter…like a Hoya R72…it does not show the picture.  With this in mind I recently sent out my old Nikon D70s out to a place called LifePixel.  In about 10 days, the camera came back looking the same…but the filter was changed internally to IR.  Go to Life Pixel for more details.  You can read FAQ’s, etc… about the process.

I had studied IR photos in the past year and always wanted to give it a try!  I had read that pictures that look good are ones that have sky, trees and water.  This shot has all three…got lucky this morning.  This shot was handheld with the kit lens that came with my D70s.   I took about 20 pictures early this morning around 7:30 AM.  The sun was bright and the sky was crystal clear.  For an IR photo..sunlight or strong light is necessary or the shot will not come out properly.

I opened the orignal shot in Photoshop CS3 (any photoshop will do!) it looks redish.  I did a little processing and made the sky and water blue…took me only 3 mins and this is the final shot!   I’m impressed with the artistic look of the shot.  This is a very different style of photography.  I’m sure some may like it and and some may not.  I am one that thinks its kinda neat. 

I’d enjoy your feedback on IR photography.  As these are my first photos today…I am curious to see what kind of pictures can be taken?  Buildings, ocean shots, people?  Not sure?  I’ll post any good ones here.  With standard photogrpahy (portraits, lanndscapes, etc..), HDR and now IR…it makes taking pictures exciting!  Feel free to email any questions about my IR setup…I’ll try to help out as much as possible.  Enjoy!  I’ll post a normal shot form Palm Springs in a few days.