Week #2 – Colorful

By: Maggie Red

May 26 2012

Tags: , , , , , ,

Category: Photography, Weekly Photography


Focal Length:36mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Follow the Yellow Brick Road

This week, I decided to play around with HDR. HDR stands for “high dynamic range” and it more or less means you take the same image with different exposures (some underexposed and some overexposed) and merge them together. The purpose of this is to create an image in which each part of the photo is correctly exposed. There is detail in both the highlights and the shadows.

This was my original plan. However, plans can change, and mine did. I attempted to merge my photos using the handy automated HDR feature in Photoshop. Unfortunately, the photos were not really “the same” enough for the merge to work correctly. Basically, the wind was blowing. So the merged image looked like a quadruple exposure and not in a good way.

So, I said to myself, “Well, you know how to use masks in Photoshop! Just make the HDR manually!”

This is easier said [to myself] than done. I did make a valiant effort, trying to piece together the different exposures.

And then I blessedly stumbled upon something better. While working with one of my masks, I tried hitting the Overlay for the blending option instead of leaving it Normal. Well, it looked awesome. Sure, there appeared to be way more flowers than there were in real life. Sure, there are a few places where there are kind of ghost flowers because of the double exposure effect. But I like it! It’s vibrant, different, and God bless it, it draws your eye through the center of the image so you pay attention not only to the foreground flowers but those beyond as well.

I am not ashamed of Photoshop. Do I care that it’s really obvious that this photo has been edited? No! If I wanted it to be realistic, then I would have done nothing to the original, correctly exposed image. This is really more of an art thing. Not fine art, to be sure. I am not a fine art photographer. But perhaps this is me delving into that realm a little bit. For a first try, I’d say it’s not too shabby.

But of course, I’m no expert, so what do you think? Not too shabby or really very shabby?


3 comments on “Week #2 – Colorful”

  1. I have to say that I really love this photo but I really, really hate your watermark. Why do you think you need one? I can’t focus on the beauty of this field because my eye is automatically drawn toward your very large and prominent watermark. Might I suggest a smaller symbol in one of the corners? Other wise, the colors are really great! Where did you take this?

    • Ouch! Hate is a strong word, Mrs. David! I will heed your advice and update this post with a modified image.

      I believe you know the purpose of a watermark. As far as why I feel as though I personally need one goes…well, you like this photo. I think that’s great! Suppose you want to use it as your computer desktop. I have no problem with that. But when someone else sees your desktop and remarks on what an awesome photo that is and where on earth did you get it? Well, I just don’t want you to forget. Also, in this hypothetical situation the “you” is anyone, as I’m sure you gathered. I don’t mind people using my photos, or admiring them, or saving them to their computers. It’s just a matter of principle, I think. Should anyone ever be able to take my photo and submit it to SellYourStockPhotosFor1PennyEach.com as their own? Of course not! And if I have a watermark on it, they won’t be remotely tempted.

      I took the original photos in front of Ms. Sandy’s house. She plays french horn in the orchestra and has a yard full of black-eyed susans.

  2. SO MUCH BETTER! Your small rant has convinced me that I should probably add something to mine. I’ll be taking logo suggestions.

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