Just a good day to shoot

Some days are a gift.  It was nicely cloudy this morning when I had the dogs at the bark park.  In between throwing tennis balls for Prince and Tuck I was able to get in a few shots.BP_7436

The clouds largely disappeared and later in the morning I was on the Fall Creek Trail at Fort Harrison State Park.  It’s hard to beat an autumn day, a good day for smelling the leaves and kicking through them.  Inside every six year old boy there is a six year old boy.  Inside every 70 year old man, there is a six year old boy. We were having a warm spell and a lot of people were enjoying it.

It being toward the middle of the day, lighting was more harsh than it was in the morning but shooting high dynamic range eased that.  The camera was on the tripod and shots were bracketed plus and minus two stops.  I later combined the resulting three images in Photomatix Pro and was quite pleased with the result.  There are times when I want some of what has come to be called the ‘HDR effect’, an effect that can push colors to the cartoonish side while the range of illumination is taken from, say, 13 stops down to eight or nine stops.  That cartoonish effect can be effective in some situations but not here.  All I wanted to do was compress the range of captured light into the range that can be displayed and keep the colors pretty much as they were.   Here is the result:Fall_Creek_7523_4_5Enhancer

One effect of compressing a wide dynamic range into a narrower dynamic range is that tonal transitions become more smooth and gradual.  Compare the above with this image, the one the camera recommended and was included as part of the HDR work:

Fall_Creek_7523

This is very nice too but the brightness on the right side of the tree to the right of the path suggests why it isn’t a good idea to shoot at this time of day if it can be avoided.  All in all, a good result with new technology and better yet, a good day to be outside.

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