An HDR Comparison

Hi Folks:

When you mention the term HDR, many people’s thoughts automatically jump to tonemapping and the results that can produce. That’s not what this post is about. If you don’t understand what HDR is all about or why you might want to use it in your photography, I suggest starting here: Why Use HDR? I’ll wait…

Okay, welcome back. I recently acquired a Sony A7R III and one of the features of this camera is that it has a very wide dynamic range – 12 to 14 stops are claimed. To that end, HDR capture with this camera isn’t often necessary. However, a friend of mine and I were out at Victoria’s famous Butchart Gardens last weekend and I wanted to try bracketing a few exposures just to see. Now, when it comes to the question of how many exposures to make and at what EV levels, there’s really only one answer: it depends. It depends on the scene and it also depends on the camera you’re using and what capabilities it has. For my experiment I decided to shoot 5 bracketed exposures at -4/-2/0/+2/+4 EV. Here’s an example of one of those combined images after having been pushed around a bit in Lr.

Water Dragon
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City of Angels

Hi Folks:

On most evenings, around sunset, you’ll see groups of people gathered along the Dallas Road walkway that runs along the south shore of Victoria. Every sunrise and every sunset is unique, but sometimes the Earth just outdoes herself. This was January 24, 2019, at Holland Point.

Marcia’s image first. This is a composite of 10 cell phone images, joined up with Autopano Pro and pushed around a bit in Lightroom.

City of Angels 1

Mike recently received a new Sony A7RIII camera and has been playing with it a bit. Three images here, at different focal lengths:

City of Angels 2

57mm

City of Angels 3

24mm

City of Angels 4

12mm

Obviously, the sky and the ocean deserve most of the credit here. Okay, that’s it. Now go out and make some photographs!

Hugs,

M&M

2018: A Photography Retrospective

Hi Folks:

As we close out 2018, many photographers choose to offer their best 10 or 12 images of the year. We did something similar with our 2019 Photo Calendars post, but we wanted to offer our favourite images from the year as well. Perhaps not coincidentally, they were both featured in our upcoming calendar.

Marcia’s first:
Dew DropsVictoria is known as the city of flowers, and Marcia loves to do flower macros. The timing on this one allowed her to capture some of the morning’s moisture as well, and if you look in the spheres you can see continuing reflections of the flowers!

And Mike’s:
Coquihalla RiverThis is a composite image of 30 images, made on the trail near the Othello Tunnels outside of Hope, BC. Fortunately it was a relatively windless day, so the images stacked together added to the sense of flow in the water without too much movement in the leaves on shore.

Creating a retrospective is a worthwhile exercise for every photographer. We went through over 12,000 images to choose the 12 for our calendar images! With digital it’s easy to shoot a thousand images a day, but how many of them are your best work?

Now go out and make some images!

Hugs,
M&M

2019 Photo Calendars

Hi Folks:

This is the ninth year now that we’ve made our MS Word photo calendar templates available, and as with the past several years, we’ve also created a series of templates and calendar images you can use with Lightroom or other graphics software. As we’ve done before we’ve also added a full-page calendar option, below. 

I created a template in MS Word that allows people who don’t have Photoshop, Lightroom or the equivalent to make their own photo calendars, so we’ll cover that first; the Lightroom stuff is below that. I used MS Word 2016 to make the template, but saved it as both a Word 2016 file and a Word 97-2003 compatible file. Basically it’s a series of tables, one for each month, that look something like this:

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Creative Photography Work

Hi Folks:

Originally wrote this as an e-mail to a friend but thought we should post this as well. Our friend has mentioned that she has been in a bit of a creative slump with her photography recently, so when I came across this article, I thought of her: Explore Photoshop Mix and Fix with Visual Artist Amr Elshamy.

I do pretty much all of my cell phone processing using Snapseed, but I also have Photoshop Express, Ps Fix, Ps Mix, Prisma and some other apps installed. They’re all free. Prisma does offer an annual subscription plan but if you’re not interested you can ignore that. Prisma is pretty much a one-trick pony, but the one thing you can do is to swipe left/right to vary the amount of effect from the filter you’ve chosen. For any given image most of the filters will look terrible, but there are usually one or two that look good.

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Happy Father’s Day!

To all fathers and those who have assumed the role: uncles, aunts, grandparents, siblings, friends and others, today we salute you for the monumental task you have undertaken. Remember to lead with love.

Hugs,
M&M

Father and Son
(look closely)

2018 Photo Calendars

Hi Folks:

This is the eighth year now that we’ve made our MS Word photo calendar templates available, and as with the past couple of years, we’ve also created a series of templates and calendar images you can use with Lightroom or other graphics software. As we’ve done before we’ve also added a full-page calendar option, below. 

I created a template in MS Word that allows people who don’t have Photoshop, Lightroom or the equivalent to make their own photo calendars, so we’ll cover that first; the Lightroom stuff is below that. I used MS Word 2007 to make the template, but saved it as both a Word 2007 file and a Word 97-2003 compatible file. Basically it’s a series of tables, one for each month, that look something like this:

Continue Reading →

Suffused

Hi Folks:

More than halfway through October and we have yet to do a Photo of the Month post for September… oh, well. A part of the reason for that is because we’re currently on vacation in northern BC. We’ll have more to share about our adventures as we go along, but just to give you an example, yesterday we took a walk along the Butze Rapids Recreational Trail outside of Prince Rupert. It’s a 5½ km trail, and most people would likely complete the loop in 1½-2 hours, but being photographers we managed it in just shy of 5 hours. As we walked along, racing the snails as we went, we were endlessly captivated by what we saw and captured with our cameras. However, as often happens for us, the longer we were there the more the forest seeped into us, suffusing itself into our Being and making us a part…

Tree House

Tree House (photo by Marcia)

Suffused

I have been suffused.

 

It began with the rain, rounding off my hard edges, wicking away doubts and fears and forming a fertile ground.

For the roots that began to seek the cracks, crevices and hidden places, gradually separating my bones and joints…

And planting a tree in my heart; a great cedar that outraced the wind to the sky then settled, staid…

An elder, passing wisdom to the young and listening to the travel songs of the birds, gathered over millenia…

Then leaning, tired, finally coming to rest and drawing a blanket of earth over my skin to sleep…

Only to be awakened by the calls of the young, nursing themselves with the tenderness of accumulated time…

 

Complete once more.

Nurse Log, Butze Rapids Trail, Prince Rupert, BC

Nurse Log

Hugs,
M&M

Photo of the Month – August

Hi Folks:

August was a pretty quiet month for us, photographically at least. However, we did have a couple of interesting images to make. Marcia’s first:

ST EVAL

ST EVAL

One day while we were down at the Inner Harbour, we spotted this yacht in port. She looks to be a converted fishing trawler, beautifully done up! We took three of Marcia’s images and combined them into one triptych.

Happy Faces

Happy Faces!!

About a week later when Mike went to the grocery store he encountered this group, all with the most beautiful, happy faces! It was too good to pass by without making an image!

Okay, that’s it. Now go out and make some photographs!!

Hugs,
M&M

Photo of the Month – July

Hi Folks:

In honour of the 30th Annual Moss St. Paint-In, we’re celebrating art in our photos of the month for July!

Marcia’s image is first. We came across this scene and, as writers ourselves, recognized it as everything the modern travel writer needs! It’s perfect!

Everything the Modern Travel Writer Needs

For Mike’s image we have his favourite artwork from the day. Frame courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria; we’ll let you guess who the pretty woman with the parasol is. 😉

Moss St. Paint In

Okay, that’s it for now. Go out and make some photographs!!

Hugs,
M&M