The water swirling around my feet. I can still feel it now. But, what is the best way to photograph this scene.
Do we point the camera directly at the sun to we get the beautiful cloud formations…
… or point the camera at the water to capture the old pier character and water action?
Both images will probably turn out nice, a reminder of a wonderful morning.
If we point the camera to capture both the sky and the water, we usually end up with a silhouette, because the sun is so bright. Our eye sees much faster than our camera does so we sense beautiful cloud details and reflective detail in the water at the same time. The camera does not.
Here is the solution …
- Place the camera on manual,
- Place the camera on a tripod,
- Compose for interest,
- Make one properly exposed image,
- Make one image over exposed by two stops,
- Make one image under exposed by two stops.
Now you will have three images in the camera, one right on, one over exposed , one under exposed. That’s the most important part.
When you get back to your computer, google “Photomatix” then click on the site.
They offer a trial downloadable software for either Windows of Mac. Your can decide later if you want to buy the product, but it’s only $39 if you do. The software will walk you through the process. It will ask you to enter the three images you took at the beach. Do that. From that point on it will do the merging of all three images, and produce the final image.
If you decide to purchase the software, the vendor removes the “watermarks” on them.
NOTE: Some of the cameras today, as do smart phones, offer a type of HDR application; however I cannot offer an opinion as to the quality. Also, you may do five exposures, each a “ONE” stop variance from the normal exposure vs. the three “TWO” stop procedure. This HDR application is also great anytime there is a single image with two very extreme exposure values (very light or very dark) areas. Examples are Mountain scenery at sunrise or sunset, inside a room where detail in a window is needed, misty scenics, etc.
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