Blog

Second HDR Attempt

After a 3 weeks vacation driving from Oklahoma to California, we flew to New York before heading to Norway. Our second day there we rented a few bikes and rode them through Central Park. The park was in and of itself beautiful, and I saw an opportunity to try my second attempt at HDR. Below are the 3 exposures that I took while we were there.

pics

After I let Photomatix work its magic with some adjustments, I ended up with the following image. In my own opinion, this is my best attempt so far. I quite like the colors and how the sun shines through.

 

Stacking Photos

I haven’t been out with my camera for a while, so here is a post regarding something I tried late last year.

On a Monday night in November, Campus Corner isn’t really hopping, but some people have still found their way out to the bars in the cold. Me on the other hand, I am sitting on the other side of the street with a cable release, taking 10 second exposures to get the light trails from the cars passing by.

After getting around 30 exposures, I went home to a nice and cozy 72°F apartment. I imported them to Aperture, selected the best (about 20), and imported them into Photoshop. In Photoshop I stacked them on top of each other and brought it back into Aperture for some smaller adjustments.

In retrospect, I wish I had stopped down the exposure to get a better picture of the logo above the bar.

I hope you like it, and feel free to ask if you have any questions!

First Attempt at HDR

October last year, I headed out with my camera, my 24-135mm, and a tripod for my first attempt at a high dynamic range (HDR) photo. I really like the architecture of the library at the University of Oklahoma, especially at night when the lights are lighting up the building in so many different ways.\

Originally I was very pleased when I was looking at the back of the camera, but as you learn very fast with digital cameras is that the preview on the back of the camera looks far better in many circumstances than the final outcome (though there are exceptions). As I said, I was pleased and with several exposures for every angle I could find interesting (and some additional ones), I headed home after about 3 hours in the cold.

Being my first attempt at HDR, I didn’t really know how to go about it on the software side… I have Photoshop and Aperture, but after playing around with it for a while, I didn’t really feel comfortable with Photoshop’s HDR feature. As a result I downloaded both Hydra Pro and Photomatix as these are applications designed for HDR photography. I could sum it all up and say that HDR is not as easy as it looks, not in my opinion anyways… However, I found that Hydra Pro aims to give you a finished product while Photomatix gives you an image that is well exposed, but needs some more work in a more suited environment, like Aperture. The end result I came up with, I am not too pleased with, I don’t like the trees, nor do I like the colors… But practice makes perfect, and I will only keep on going and try again to see if I can get something better.

So lets move on to the interesting part; what is the photo made up of?

The HDR image is made up of 5 exposures that all had the EXIF

  • ISO: 500
  • f/8

But the shutterspeed of the exposures were 1, 4, 8, 15, and 30 seconds, making for a good variety in the amount of light that got captured.

In post production, it was mostly just a lot of trying and failing until I ended up with something that I was okay with. At that point it was time to bring it over to Aperture to continue the trial and error…

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section below.

Relaunch of Website

Photo: Unknown

Photo: Unknown

A little info on me; I am a 22 year old boy studying Economics and Finance at the University of Oklahoma. I am (again) starting this blog, to better myself as a pupil of photography, as writing about the art would help me get a more critical take on the game.

After many failed attempts at starting a blog, I have now changed the entire website with a completely new look which I think will bring out more in the photos than the old one did. In addition, the new look will try and provide a better blog experience both for readers and me as the author. The only thing remaining to see now is if I can actually keep up with the writing. It seems as though I am not the only one around that has problems maintaining a blog, but I will try to overcome the urge (maybe the wrong word) to stop.

This blog will work as a medium for me to draw down my thoughts, however, my thoughts aren’t always photography related so don’t be scared if you see me rambling on about the weather. Okay, maybe not the weather…. But you get my point.

In the coming few weeks, I will be working on a new project besides my studying. I haven’t really found a catchy name for it other than what it really is, which is “The OU Campus by Night”. Just thought of some other names, how about “Nightly Campus”?

 

PS: I am still uploading photos to the portfolio…

Skydance Bridge in OKC

SkyDance Bridge

One of the many changes to Oklahoma City over the past few years has been the addition of the Skydance pedestrian bridge. It is a construction, crossing interstate 40, the interstate that more or less goes across all of Oklahoma horizontally.

The bridge was a result of a design competition between 16 firms, which was won by Hans Butzer and his architect team (the designer of the Oklahoma City National Memorial). It was inspired by the “dance” of the scissor-tailed flycatcher, Oklahoma’s state bird. At its tallest point, the structure reaches as high as 185 feet up in the air.

I loved the look of this bridge as it stretches over the highway, towards the home of Oklahoma City Thunder, with changing light colors, and a beautifully lit walkway.

If you are ever nearby, it is worth a visit, stop by and take a stroll across this magnificent structure.

"Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.“

Matt Hardy

School and Coffee

I’ve never been a big coffee drinker, well I never used to be… That was until I started college… My Freshmen year I had this idea that I could force myself to drink coffee so that I would be able to stay up and work on my paper that I had procrastinated for a week and was due the next morning. I believe that is how most people commence their coffee drinking careers. After force “feeding” myself coffee I have come to be quite addicted to that black, warm, delicious drug.

School started back up this week, with all new interesting courses, new professors, and new classmates. I’m excited as I am entering my new courses with a greater enthusiasm than ever before. This enthusiasm might be a result of my interests and how this semesters’ courses are almost all aimed towards my degree in Economics, as well as finance.

I have made a promise to my family and friends in Norway to try to show them more of my life here in Norman, Oklahoma this semester, and I have figured I will try to do it through this [inconsistent] blog. In other words, this blog will not be just about photography, it will be more about my life I guess, that is if I can actually keep posting these blog posts, and I think thats where the challenge lies…

Another thing I want to do this semester is to try to travel around the area a bit more. I have Fridays and most of Mondays off from school and that gives me an opportunity to travel a bit more than I have so far. However, there is also a limitation to my travels due to the lack of money, though a car and a full tank of gas can take me miles away!

I am excited about this coming semester!

Bonsai!

 Bonsai art is the display of a landscape – without the landscape.

Today I got my first ever Bonsai tree. For a long time I have been a fan of them but I never really thought of getting one until today. The one I have is after my opinion not very exiting, to me it’s just not a real Bonsai tree as it as big leaves and so on. To me a Bonsai tree is a tree that looks almost just like a miniature tree.

After I got it and pruned and watered it I wanted to play around and see what I could do with the camera. It has been a long time since I have used my flash so I was looking into some harsh shadows with a direct flash, no diffusers or anything like that.

I am not eagerly happy about the turn out of the photos, but I think they are decent, though I wish the contrasts between the shadows and the light would’ve been a tad sharper. If I were to do this again, I would also include some water droplets on the leaves as I love light shining through drops of water. I would’ve done it now right away but I am really tired for some reason…

Bonsai2

P.S. This is my second post within 24 hours, I’m surprised with myself. If I didn’t know any better I’d actually believe that this will continue!

Monkeys are Awesome!

I am really bad at blogging! Anyways, I just wanted to share this photo with you, as I found it interesting! It is of me as I am shooting a monkey in Gibraltar a few years ago.

I find animals and nature in general very fascinating, and I don’t understand why we don’t find ourself travel to the untouched nature more often (though this nature was more than heavily marked by humans, Rock of Gibraltar), myself included… I feel like this needs to change!

One of the coming weeks I want to capture my life, every day for a week, in photos so that my family back in Norway can get a feel of how things are going over here as well as feel a bit more included in my life. I do miss Norway, and it’s spectacular beauty, every now and then!