2013-09-02

Grandview Idaho

Photos near Grandview Idaho

HDR Photographs taken from Idaho Highway 78, Owhyee County, departing Murphy, ID, driving towards Grandview, ID.  August, 2013. 

"Desert Landscape"

This HDR image was taken with a polarizer, facing NNW.  Notice the color fall-off in the sky to the left (W).  This is typical of a polarizer when facing directly East or West and especially when using a wide-angle lens you will almost always have fall-off on one edge or the other.  Additionally auto-focus cameras must use circular polarizers, which are not as effective as traditional filters.

In the distance is the Snake River canyon.  Click the image for a larger view.

Click for larger view
The final image has soft edges, partly because of the breeze (HDR does not like it when the subject moves) and partly because of my color manipulations.  Because of this, this probably not printable. 


"Fence Posts"

Two miles East, along the same highway, facing South.  The Owhyee Mountains are in the distance.  The dirt road you see is a ranch service road and is not the highway.

Click for larger view


Below are the five exposures used to assemble the HDR.  The final HDR image is similar to the EV-0 exposure.  I used HDR to take some of the contrast out of the picture and to give some color to the sky.  A wide-angle was used to capture the foreground fence post and the background's vanishing point.  Vignetting is caused by the polarizer filter stacked on top of a UV filter and is pronounced because of the wide-angle lens.  I did not notice this while taking the photographs and had to crop the final image.




Both photos were taken mid-afternoon, with the sun directly overhead. This is not the best time to take a photograph.  It was a fun challenge to see if the images could be saved. 


Owhyee County

For those of you not familiar with Idaho, the Southern half of the State is dry, high-desert with sage and cheat-grass.  Owhyee County is a large, particularly desolate area, with 7,700 square miles, and a population of 11,000 souls.  The county was named for 3 Hawaiian trappers, who in 1819, traveled in this region and disappeared.  The anglicized name stuck.  The famed Silver City ghost town can be found about 30 miles SW of Murphy, on an unimproved road.

Along the Snake River, within pumping distance, you will find alfalfa, some grains and dry-desert cattle grazing.  Google-maps shows how important the Snake River is to the local economy.  The red-x is approximately where the photographs were taken and the town of Grandview (population 440) is marked at the "A".

Related Imageliner links:
Jump Creek, Idaho
The Pillars of Rome, Oregon
Frank Church Wilderness, Idaho
Stanley, Idaho Forest Burn

2013-03-31

Newport Bay Bridge

Newport Bay, Oregon Bridge - Various HDR pictures

Newport Bay bridge (Yaquina Bay Bridge), just before dusk.  There was a boat arriving in a few minutes and the boat's movement and wake would ruin the final HDR shot, generating artifacts and pixellation.  Since it takes a moment to adjust for each exposure I worked quickly. 

Images on this site are 5MB jpg.  For each scene, five exposures were made, ranging from -2 stops to +2 stops EV and Paintshop Pro X5 was used for the final images.  Details on the techniques are covered in this article: HDR Technique - Stanley Forest Burn.

HDR Exposure 1
This is a five-exposure sequence using moderately-enhanced coloring. 
(EV +/-2 stops)

Click for larger view; click "X" to return


HDR Exposure 2
The second version, using the same five exposures, has more aggressive color enhancements.  I like this version even though it looks more artificial, however, I wished the cloud contrast from the first picture made it over.    

Click for larger view, click "X" to return


Non HDR Straight Photo
This is a non HDR reference photo, EV +0, taken to illustrate this article.  Being near sunset, I was hoping for a warmer light, but as you can see, it was unremarkable.  The light was soft and diffuse.   


Click for larger view, click "X" to return

The center exposure (EV+0) was taken at f9/180 using ISO 250.  White-balance was manually-set.  The lens is a kit zoom lens set at 22mm ACPS, mounted on a tripod.  For this center exposure, I did not use a grey-card and it shows, being off by +2/3 stop.  (With HDR, a poorly-exposed center meter reading is of little concern because the blended photos will merge into a near-perfect exposure.)  From this un-edited image, you can see the 16:9 crop, which removed foreground details and gave the picture a more horizontal look.


I like how the HDR maintained a proper exposure in the sky and in the bridge.  This photograph would have been challenging with traditional film.  The photographer would have had to use graduated filters and extra work in the dark-room to salvage this otherwise bland photo or he would have had to wait for better lighting.  Different films, such as Velvia or Kodachrome could be used to enhance the colors and of course, one could always play around in the darkroom and perform all kinds of magic. 


Interior HDR views:



Mistakes

Earlier in the day I was shooting JPG and forgot to return the camera to RAW.  Because of this, the HDR exposures were in high-quality JPG, and I think that adds softness to the edges and this would not have been a problem if I would have used my checklist.

Secondly, in the top-photos, in my haste, I forgot to lock-down the tripod's head and it moved ever-so-slightly as I manipulated the controls.  When I first merged the pictures, it was a pixellated train-wreck.  Fortunately, the software (PSP X5) has an option to "align" the pictures before merging, otherwise the exposures would have been lost.  

Related Articles:

White Balancing
Using an 18% Grey Card

HDR Techniques for Stanley Forest Burn
NewPort Bya (Yaquina Bay Bridge)
Highway 21 HDR