From Camera to HDR to B&W

Gazebo at Meadowlark Gardens

Technical – 5-exp. HDR (-2.33 to +1.67 EV, 1 stop increments), Nikon D300, Tokina 16-50 2.8 @ 27mm, f/22, ISO 200, Aperture Priority, Circular Polarizer, Multi-segment metering, Cloudy WB, Tripod

Composition

  • My more or less standard approach – put something in the foreground
  • Subject off centered
  • A three layer landscape
  • Separation between foreground & gazebo reflection is important
  • Camera down as low as possible without flower/reflection overlap
  • Fill & dominate the frame with the important “stuff”

Post-process

  1. HDR – Photomatix Pro 4 Detail Enhancer tone-mapping default
  2. B&W Conversion in Silver Efex Pro 2 – each of the three versions shown below is a minor change from an SEP2 preset; each took less than a minute. Center is the feature image above.

Click image to enlarge it

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Five exposure capture at sunrise two days ago. Here’s the resulting HDR image. Didn’t feel like fussing with it, so I went straight to SEP2. HDR was useful since this was taken at sunrise (directly behind the gazebo) which gave me the choice of a blown out sky or a silhouetted gazebo – neither of which I wanted. My normal solution, a grad neutral density filter, while possibly helping with the sky a little, would simultaneously darken the higher trees unacceptably. No really good in-camera solutions in this case.

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This gazebo was the subject of one of my earliest (and favorite) infrared shots made seven years ago –

The above alternative visions of this subject demonstrate that our possibilities are endless when it comes to presenting a subject.
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