I shot this last year when my Mom was visiting me here in Thailand. There is a real name for the place but the Thai name is brutal so we just call it Buddha Mountain.
I shot this on my Nikon D5500 with my Sigma 17-70 Lens. Honestly, if I want a travel camera and don’t want to hump one of my Sony’s around the D5500 with the 17-50 and the 55-200 is perfect. Lightweight, great battery life, and outstanding image quality.
This is in HDR but I like to think I do it subtle enough not to make it obvious. Dodging and burning as needed.
If I had a hero shot I wanted it was a photo of the SR-71. I have shot it before but I never really bothered much with it until one day I saw this photo by Trey Ratcliff. It was then I had a holy hell that’s cool moment.
This SR-71 is at the Udvar-Hazy Center which is apart of the Smithsonian. It’s pretty much the first thing that smacks you in the face as you walk into the hangers that encompass the facility. When I went there this time I specifically wanted to get my hero shot of this plane. That isn’t the big deal but I almost screwed it up and didn’t get it and a return trip is likely not in the cards.
I had puttered around photographing other things. I figured I would get the shot on the way out since you have to pass it. The facility closes at 5 and I was in a far corner. I figured I head back at 4:45 and get my shot and head home. The problem was I kept getting distracted by other cool things and by the time I got to the spot to take my photo I barely had any time.
I tried to use a new tripod thing I bought off a kickstarter that you can wrap around stuff. Having never really used it I wasn’t that familiar with it. So I was rushing and trying to get the thing setup and wasn’t having much luck. It didn’t help I was using a Nikon D810 with a Sigma 24-105 which isn’t the lightest combo on this planet.
I finally gave up and just jammed the camera between the railing and handles. Set the shutter delay for 2 seconds and stared death daggers at anyone that came near the railing and dared to touch it. I managed to grab a few shots and walked out a few minutes after 5.
If you have seen this image, yes it’s heavily edited. I did the usual camera profile and gradients then moved it into Photoshop. I then created a new layer and opened Aurora 2017 and just picked a preset that dumped details. I then moved back to my original layer and then did my curves adjustment and did local work dodging and burning. I then went back and masked in the HDR stuff I wanted to keep, mainly the SR-71. Wasn’t done yet. Created a new layer and opened Intensify CK and then picked a preset for details. I masked that in specifically on the SR-71 again. Then it was a matter of some final adjustments and done.
I have driven past this sign almost everyday for several years. I have shot it before but at night. This time the Sun was setting and it was time to capture it.
This is 6 images composited into a HDR image. I’m getting more familiar with the software and tools but still not 100%. There was lots of tweaking going on with this image to get it to where I wanted it and felt that it could be shared out. It was all about the details and lush colors in the sign along with the setting sun causing the sky to contrast for most of the image.
Until I get the workflow down for these images it will be one image a day for a bit since it takes me much longer to edit. Thanks for bearing with me and enjoy.
For the first time in a long time I have tried something new with photography. Not that its new to me or a new concept, I have done it before but its not something I do often and it was to shoot with bracketing turned on. I also used a tripod which is something I have invested in but rarely use. So with that in mind I set out and did some shooting.
I’ll be honest and say that these are HDR images. Each edited a different way. I have never done a HDR image before so its a bit of a learning curve for me and I have processed these two at least 5 different times as I struggled with the work flow. Hopefully by the time I am finished editing everything I’ll have something of a cohesive editing process with the new tools.
So bear with me through this learning process and hopefully enjoy.