I’ve been working really hard getting my next eBook ready to go and I’m so excited to release it later this week!
Since I’ve been focussing on the book I haven’t made very many new images lately so I decided to go back and revisit some of the images I made on my North American trip last year.
The first National Park I visited was Glacier National Park in Montana where I made some HDR images at Sun Point. HDR was still pretty new to me but it seemed to be the answer when I visited Sun Point in the middle of the day under the bright sun. But now looking back at the processed image I see some classic HDR mistakes. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of my newly processed image on the left and the old HDR image on the right.
Now that I have more experience I see two big problems with the image on the right. First, the black clouds don’t look right. Even though they were stormy, gloomy, clouds they seem too black in the image. Second, HDR is supposed to expand the dynamic range of the end product since I made one exposure for the highlights, one for the shadows and one for the mid-tones. But this image looks as if the dynamic range is compressed. Other than the bits of white behind the black clouds, the image doesn’t really contain that much contrast.
I also realize I made a huge mistake when I made my bracketed shots that I didn’t even notice when I processed them. When you make bracketed shots, you need to be in aperture priority mode so that all the brackets contain the same depth of field. I made the mistake of being in shutter priority mode so that each shot was made with a different aperture. Oops!
It’s times like this I am glad I shoot in raw and I hope you do too. Processing images is a constant learning curve. That’s one of the things I like most about photography – there is always more to learn. And, if you shoot in raw, you can go back to the file as it was when it came out of your camera containing all the original data and process it again with your new improved techniques.
I did that with this image of Sun Point and I think the results are much better. This image is not HDR – it is a single bracket.