Denny Mfg. – HDR Backgrounds (New release!)

Happy Friday everyone! Denny Mfg. just updated their website and added 38 of my new HDR backgrounds to their website!

Denny Mfg. – HDR Backgrounds (Digital Download or Printed Backdrop)

Thanks for taking a look!!

Denny Mfg

Lacrosse HDR Composite

Lacrosse Composite
Here is the amazing Abby looking tough and ready to dominate Lacrosse! This is an HDR Composite. Shot in studio with a 3 light set up, white backdrop and one of my new up and coming HDR backgrounds…processed in Photoshop. I have an article on shooting HDR Composites in HDR One Magazine and the March issue of Inspire! I will put both links up as soon as Inspire Magazine comes out soon! If you are into this style of photography…you can find my backgrounds for sale here….

1) Denny Mfg. Website
2) Peter Talke Photography Website

Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have any questions!

And for those Flickr members…I started up a group for HDR Composite artists…
Flickr: HDR Composite Group

Infrared Portrait


One area I am eager to grow my experience in is Infrared Portraits. The shot above was one of my first serious attempts. Doa is stunning and was wonderful to work with this day! Her dark hair lead to fun colors in infrared! Whats cool is that she now has her own blog called Doa Blue! Doa feel free to use this pic…due to its blue tone! =) You can find her blog here…Doa Blue. Good luck in your modeling career!!

HDR Composite


HDR’ing is now a favorite of many photographers…me included! I love also taking portraits and with the growing popularity of compositing…the two combined is awesome!! Now the tough part is to get it to work. I unfortunately do not have tons of time on my hands but gave this a try recently. My processing is trial and error. I am not a Photoshop Guy like Scott Kelby or Matt Kloskowski, but can do some above basic photoshop work.

I had seen some HDR Composites from the amazing Joel Grimes in the past and his work blew me away like the first time I saw an HDR. Compositing was omething I always wanted to attempt! Then recently, Matt Kloskowski released my favorite book of all time… “Photoshop Compositing Secrets“. Matt’s book is not only inspirational, but detailed and teaches you everything! Thanks Matt!!! You rock!

Now with my Photoshop skill limitations, above you will see my second attempt ever that combines a std photo and an HDR…an HDR Composite! Not perfect, but maybe with more practice and knowledge, I can get better. I asked my FB fans yesterday how to improve the shot from one version I posted online. Based upon their comments, I have since made slight changes and now the finished product is above. Here you can see what I used to get the final picture…

Wall: Bracket “0” of the 7 exposures used to create the HDR…

Wall HDR’d: 7 Exposures, HDR Efex Pro, Nik Color Efex Pro & then Topaz Adjust…cranked Saturation up a bit as well…

Model Shot: Taken with 2 Westcott Shoot-thru Umbrellas, 2 SB-700’s, Pocket Wizard’s…same location as the HDR, but shot different days!

Diagram for Model Shot…

Now I am far from an expert…but hopefully my second attempt looks good enough? I truly love all the options photography has to offer! Challenges make our ability grow!! The model is the lovely Roshni…she was great!! Thanks Roshni!!

HDR Mafia – Pittsburgh Style (HDR Composite)


I had been traveling for about a month now for business and luckily had a few chances to go out shooting when possible. I was in Pittsburgh this past week and gave my good friends Dave DiCello HDR Exposed and Mike Criswell aka Theaterwiz a heads up and we had a few early morning hours to catch some pics before my flight left at noon. We met at 5 AM and you will see in the next few months…we tackled some great locations and took some sweet HDR’s. Thanks to Dave for driving…his knowledge of Pittsburgh is key! Mike cruised in from Ohio and I cant even remember where I came in from…oh yeah Cleveland.

We have an HDR Mafia in Austin…as Mike noted on his blog yesterday…it is time for Mike & Dave to start an East Coast Chapter. Check out Mike’s shot on his blog..another sweet HDR. Dave will get his version up soon! While shooting, we had to capture the moment and look like tough guys…the shot above was our second location for posing. Funny…we were walking in the Strip District and I said…I had seen some old tires stacked in someones shot online…I wish we could find it! Then whammo..right in front of us right after I completed my sentence.

The shot above was an HDR Composite. I am learning this method and its quite easy. Take a normal shot of your subjects and then have them step away and while keeping the camera in the same position…take the scene in HDR (This was 7 exposures). Combine the two in photoshop layers, blend, touch up and thats it! This one I added a little extra touch from onOne’s Photo Tools.

I had a blast shooting with Dave & Mike! Two super talented HDR artists! Follow their blogs and check out their sweet HDR’s! The Burgh Rules! In this pic from left to right: Pete Talke, Dave DiCello, Mike Criswell

SXSW Portrait Session w/Doa

Per my previous post…I thought about it after a few comments and decided to keep Places 2 Explore as is!  I have now started the Talke Photography Blog. Here you will find posts on Portraits – Events – Sports.  These type of photos will be found there!  Bookmark it now!  I still have to update the look and feel on the new blog.   Places 2 Explore will now be for landscape shots and professional sporting events after today!   Enjoy!!

Recently during SXSW I met up with my good friends Steve Wampler and Alex Suarez for a mini photowalk model shoot with the amazing Doa!  Doa was awesome!!!  We had a great time at lunch this day and walked around to various locations and grabbed many shots while fighting the crowds.  I was shooting standard pics and also some in Infrared.  I’ll post those IR portraits one day soon….very cool!!

In my desire to become a portrait photographer…shoots like this are such a great experience.  I just need more experience working with the subjects.   That will come in time.  So I think about my future plans and over the last few years I have added a few shooting styles to my abilities..HDR, IR, Texturing, etc…   To really excel in portraiture you need to stand out.  Most everyone can take a portrait shot that is decent.  But you need that extra kick to have people want you to photograph them.  So I am working on incorporating all my past skills into such pics.

The above shot is just basic Photoshop and layers.  Took about 10 minutes!  A cool and different look!   To use the old saying  …why be ordinary? …be extraordinary!!   Have fun!  The original shot is below…