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