Bend, Texas – Gorman Falls (HDR)

One of my favorite shots from the lovely Gorman Falls in Bend, TX.  The rocks and moss form what looks like a old mans silhouette.  I didn’t not notice this until after I processed the photo.  As soon as it cools down here and fall arrives into Texas, I plan to head back up there.  It is a haul from Austin (3 hours)…but it is one amazing location!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 82.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/16
  • Gear:  Tripod – Really Right Stuff Ball Head
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza
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    Stanford, CA – Stanford Memorial Church (HDR)

    If you are ever in San Francisco, take a drive down to the beautiful Stanford University (about 30 minutes south).  Here you can find the lovely Stanford Memorial Church.   I had never visited the campus and this day I visited with my buddy Horace Kwan (Horace Kwan Photography).   We arrived real early one AM and walked around and took a few shots.  When the church opened (this was out target), we went in and grabbed a bunch of photos.  The architecture is amazing.  I can imagine a great spot for a wedding!   If you are ever going to shoot a church, stop by as soon as it opens.  I usually luck out and have no issues with using a tripod.   I think photographers need to compile a book with a list of locations that allow tripods.  Now that would be a book I would buy in a second!!

    Info from the web:   Stanford Memorial Church (also known as MemChu) is located at the center of the Stanford University campus in Stanford, California, United States. It was built during the American Renaissance by Jane Stanford as a memorial to her husband Leland. Designed by architect Charles A. Coolidge, a protegé of Henry Hobson Richardson, the church has been called “the University’s architectural crown jewel”.

    Designs for the church were submitted to Jane Stanford and the university trustees in 1898, and it was dedicated in 1903. The building is Romanesque in form and Byzantine in its details, inspired by churches in the region of Venice and, especially, Ravenna. Its stained glass windows and extensive mosaics are based on religious paintings the Stanfords admired in Europe. The church has four pipe organs, which allow musicians to produce many styles of organ music. Stanford Memorial Church has withstood two major earthquakes, in 1906 and 1989, and was extensively renovated after each.

    Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 12.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/8
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza, Color Efex Pro
  • Las Vegas, Nevada – The Venetian Hotel (HDR)

    From the fun and party filled Las Vegas…here is an HDR of the Venetian Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip! Las Vegas is a paradise for adults that like to get away and have fun…but it should also be noted as a key spot for HDR photography!  I must admit, there is probably an HDR every step you take in Vegas!  Colors, Lights, Hotels…its all there to photograph.  The big issue is people.  We just came back from a 3 day visit and it was the peak of summer holidays!  My only option is early morning photo time!   This shot was my target.  I had been to the Venetian and knew it was perfect for HDR.  I set my alarm this Saturday for 4:30 AM.   I awoke and looked outside…wow!  The streets were packed and filled with people…time to go back to bed!  I gave myself another hour of sleep and was up now at 5:30 AM.  The sun was coming up and I figured all the party people will be passed out or asleep at this time!  I looked outside and it was getting quiet.  I jumped in a cab and hit the Venetian.  I asked the cabbie was is the quietest time in Vegas….he said 8 AM.  …although I thought 6 AM was not bad!

    This location at the Venetian is located right next to the registration.  Here you can find this amazing hallway and meeting area you can see ahead with a beautiful fountain. All just waiting for HDR photographers!!  LOL  I had to people dodge many times, but it wasn’t too bad.  Some exposures were long and any people involved…just disappeared!   I shot the hotel for about 90 minutes and made my walk back down the strip.  I post a few more shots from here soon.  I’d say any shot here was a great one.  If you have been here and photographed it…you know well!   Viva Las Venetian!!

    Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 14.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/16
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza, Color Efex Pro
  • London, England – Trafalgar Square (HDR)

    London, England - Lion HDR

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

    Here is an HDR photo taken at Trafalgar Square early one morning a few weeks back.   It was quiet at the square and I wanted to somehow fit Big Ben into the picture.  It such a nice view from Trafalgar to look down the street and see such an icon.  I took this with my standard tripod, cable release and 5 exposures.   The lens did a great job creating a bit of bokeh (background blur) with the buildings.  

    I saw a few more HDR books at my local Barnes & Noble today.   This great style of photography is growing indeed!!   One was $40.00 (HDR Photography Photo Workshop – Pete Carr).  Way too much inside and looked kinda average.  To me when I get a book on photography, I want and easy technical read and some great photos!   The photos I see from such a book should inspire….no luck here!   In my HDR Tutorial I mention my favorite book that got me started with HDR.   Enjoy!

    Photomatix 3.2 Update – Now available!

    LogoPhotomatix  For those of you using HDRSoft’s Photomatix ….you can now log onto their website and download the new updated version of Photomatix 3.2.   Some new changes are  1. New Smoothing Algorithm  2. New Highlight and Shadow Smoothness behavior   3. New Preview size options  4. Multi Processor Utilization  5. Improved alignment      Also looks visually updated.  Go get your update today if you are into HDR processing!    Dont forget the 15% discount for anyone buying Photomatix…use code “Places2Explore”.   Happy HDR’ing!

    London, England – Telephone Booth – HDR

    London, England - Telephone Booth HDR

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

    When I was in London a few weeks ago, one of my target photos was one of the iconic telephone booths we have all seen on TV, etc… for years.   While traveling around town during the week….I kept my eye out for a booth that would be perfect for a photo.   As I looked – it was becoming easy to see…it would not be simple to take at the normal times of day.   With so many people walking around – timing would be difficult.  I saw this one near Trafalgar Square and paid attention to the sunsrise and the people traffic.  The sun rose early – around 5 :30 AM and people didn’t get going until 6:30 AM downtown.  

    So I woke up one morning at 6 AM…grabbed my gear and set up to take this shot.   It was me and the street cleaners out on Trafalgar Square this early.   I tried  few shots with buildings in the background…but they were just ok.   Then I just focused on the booth and this is the shot.  Perfectly simple!   5 exposures with a cable release and tripod.   The sun was rising and it gave the booth a nice glow.  Adding the one broken window gave the booth a nice “used” feel.   The colors around the booth were monochromatic and makes the booth stand out.  

    Some quick history – the first telephone booths were placed in England in 1920.  In 1924 they had a competition to design a new booth.  Giles Gilbert Scott was awarded as the competition winner chosen by the Fine Arts Commision.  His design was in the classical style, but topped with a dome reminscent of Soane’s mausoleum in St. Pancras’ old churchyard.  The Post office decided to cast this winning design in iron and paint it red. Scott had suggested to paint it silver with a greeny-blue interior.  But red was chosen and it was put into service in 1926.  

    So thanks to the telephone booth for standing out!    After taking this shot I wondered if anyone uses these booths any longer?  Since the day of the cell phone has arrived….the booths are now just for sightseeing.  Gotta run and make a call!   Enjoy!

    Brussels, Belgium – Grand Place – HDR

    Brussels Grand Place HDR

    NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photomatix

    This photo is from Brussels, Belgium at the Grand Place.   It was around 8 PM…dinner time for the Europeans and I was walking around taking lots of HDR’s.  I have processed a few from this day and I like the colors and the people sitting on the curb in this shot.  I am lucky though!   If the people were a little closer – zombieville!    A friend of mine Phil sent me a link a few weeks back of a photographer that used HDR for wedding portraits.  I thought that was an amazing idea.  I looked at the site.  Luckily the bride and groom are a good distance away from the camera, so they are not affected too much by the HDR effect.  Its an idea to try in the future.  A family portrait in HDR?  Maybe?  I’d have to try a few shots and see what is an acceptable the working distance betweeen the lens and person.  I think it will take practice!  Or a little photoshop help? 

    I’d like to branch out my skills in HDR one day soon.  I am planning to rent the Nikon 10.5 Fisheye Lens on a trip soon.  I’ll post some shots hopefully by August 1st.  I’m also trying to think of different subjects…we have an old car show here in Texas in September – now that will be fun!  If the lens works out well…it would be fun to have then!   Enjoy!