May 232010

It is sunday morning and this image is from Saturday afternoon. The day began mostly cloudy, but in the afternoon the clouds dispersed and we took a short trip to a nearby valley and then a detour along a mountain ridge. This is on the road winding up.

Contrasts seemed so harsh, that I took a bracketed burst of five images, but foliage of that amount is obviously the point where HDR programs can’t handle variation any more. Both Photomatix Pro and HDR Essentials failed miserably, and so I took two exposures, one underexposed, one overexposed, into Photoshop, let it align them, put the darker to the bottom and blended the lighter one into the shadows. Look at the image: the shadows are mostly static. Things that don’t move, or at least unnoticably so at that focal length. We are at 11 mm after all.

It worked immaculately. Even at 100% I can see no obvious ghosting. I fully expected it, but no. Of course the two exposures that I used are only two apart in the burst, but then, when leaves move, they move extremely fast.

Anyway. The Tokina 11-16/2.8 is definitely prone to ghosts when you shoot directly into the sun, but it really depends on the exact position of the sun in the frame. Here I had no problem at all.

The Song of the Day is “We Came Along This Road” by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. It’s on their 2001 album “No More Shall We Part”. YouTube has at least a live version.

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