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


  • 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”


  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

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.

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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