Oct 282007

Of the session only two images remained, this and a detail, that I’m probably going to post on the Radiant Vista. Both images were shot from the tripod, the first with the Nikon 18-200 at 75mm, f13 and 20s. I didn’t use the macro flash kit, because I really liked the colors that I got from my test shots. The background are two blue
folders, one lying flat on the table, one standing atop.

For the second image I did use the macro flash kit and the Sigma 150/2.8 macro lens at f19, but with the camera set to slow flash mode. Basically that means that the foreground is mostly lit by reduced flashes, but the shutter stays open almost for the whole time that it would take without flashes. The result is, that the background does not go black, like it would normally do. Of course you can get the same result with a proper arrangement of flashes, but as I have only two of them and wanted to light the flower with both, this was the most economic solution. The obvious drawback is, that the method fails to work on moving objects.

Early in the afternoon the fog went away, and later on there was even some sun. I used the opportunity to shoot some HDR images from the tripod. The first one is from 3:31pm, just before the sun came out. At that time there was a dense cloud cover over the whole valley, only in the south-west a patch of blue was visible.

The second image is from approximately the same position, and it is the same view as in “373 – As Time Goes By“. I am shooting almost into the sun. It is just outside of the upper left corner. The result were some flares, but in Lab color mode you can get rid of them in a very elegant way. Just use the clone stamp separately on the “a” and “b” channel to eliminate the color shifts, and finally paint with a soft brush and low opacity in soft light mode on the luminance channel. It works like magic. Yes, I know, there are some flares left, but these are not the one’s that I mentioned, those are really gone without a trace. What is left is only what I didn’t care to tackle.

The third and last image is from our garden down to the south-east. This is the kind of light that you get when the valley is covered with clouds and the sun stands low in the west.

All three HDR images were shot with the Nikon 18-200 as seven bracketed exposures from the tripod, using the Nikon MC-36 remote control and the camera set to high speed multi-shot mode. Then the seven JPEGs were merged in Photomatix Pro, tone-mapped using the defaults, and finally finished in Photoshop.

The Song of the Day is “Lilies Of The Valley” from David Byrne’s 1994 album “David Byrne“. I had contemplated Bob Dylan’s “Lily Of The West”, but that would have been sepia. For shrill colors it must be David Byrne 🙂

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