Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tech Talk Tuesday - Photo Art Using HDR

Preacher at Calico Ghost Town
(walking out of the saloon!)

Last week in Tech Talk Tuesday, (click HERE), I did a review of HDR programs and I hope what you got out of that post is that with the programs now available, anyone can produce interesting, fun and/or realistic photos and art with very little time and a short learning curve.  This week I thought I'd show you one of the ways I often use HDR.

We just got back from another quick trip to California, (my last few images were pre posted before I left), and we stopped at Calico Ghost Town, (a tourist trap), on the way.  We were sitting on a bench and this character walked out of the 'saloon', and turned around to talk to us.  My camera was in my hands, (of course), and set to bracket 3 shots at different exposures, and my 2 second timer was on.  I had no time to fiddle with any other type of settings.  In about 2 seconds I asked him if I could snap his picture.  He said yes, and with one click of the shutter button I had my three images.   (I braced my arm as best as I could to avoid movement, because I didn't have my tripod with me and I was sitting down.)

The above photo is what  I ended up with after about 5 minutes on the computer.  Here's what I did:  I exported the three images into EFex HDR Pro (which I still have in 'trial' form).  It is so fun seeing what all the presets do that I quickly tried different effects on the image.  I came across one that I think was called "Granny's Attic" which gave this old west look to it.  I knew I wanted this type of look and I usually use a Photoshop action to produce something similar, but this preset did almost the same thing.  I then fiddled with some of the sliders to add clarity and a bit more definition to make his weathered face stand out, and that was it.  Then I imported the image into Photoshop and used an action to  sharpen his eyes.  The last (and trickiest) thing I did was remove his name tag.  That all took about 5 minutes, and I like the end result.  To me it is much more fun and interesting than any of the originals.  Below are my three SOOTC shots.   What do you think?
   


15 comments:

Sandra said...

as soon as i get through laughing at your statement "a short learning curve" I will tell you this is outstanding to me. the HDR is marvelous and who would care if you get perfection by snapping or editing.
on the laugher side, i don't even have a camera that will set to take 3 at one expsure and if it does don't know that it does or even how to set the camera. loved the post

Scott said...

I didn't think you could get away with an HDR of a person. Excellent!!! I really like the way it brought out the wear and tear on the saloon door as well as the man. Very clean job on removing the badge too.

Of course you - and everybody - was right on my post, it was # 1.

Picturit said...

Excellent HDR don't see many of people this good. Kev

Robin said...

Like the end result. It really added to the shot.
I picked up a copy of Photomatix Pro the other day. I really like it. I'm surprised how quickly it works in putting it all together. I use PS3 usually an it was taking forever to put anything together. Thanks for you posts on this subject. I'm a believer!

RedWillow said...

I love what you have done. You added so much more color depth and character to him. Fantastic work.
I didnt think it was this easy and may have to try it.
Always look forward to your tech talks Tuesays.
Thanks Karen.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Wow, you could do a whole feature on just how you removed that name tag on such a complicated background. Very good. The end result picture sure sells HDR.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

oh.my.goodness. that is amazing. i just found your blog and look forward to learning more. i've just gotten interested in photography this past year and have soooooo much to learn. thank you.

Hope said...

very informative.. thank you

Stacey Dawn said...

Really great job ... thanks for sharing about this!

Chad said...

Love this hdr,talk about adding character to a photo. He probably never thought he could look so good.

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

I love this technique...it makes a very special photograph!!!
I had to laugh when I read about where you were...I've actually been there...My husband grew up right close to this place, his brother actually worked there in sixties...Hubby took me there about ten years ago. I remember the house made from bottles mostly...thanks for the memory boost!!!

Don said...

I like the look of this. Very engaging.

MyMaracas said...

Wow. I love the effect! Nice job on deleting the name tag, too.

Lisa said...

I love seeing the before and after pictures. I think it helps me understand how to edit better.

Tricia said...

I googled EFex HDR Pro & found it, (I've been trying out Photomatix, but haven't had much luck w/ it) & this weekend I'm going out for another photo shoot & will be looking for this kind of photo op - I don't really do 'people' shots, more barns, old buildings/structures, etc.

Thank you!