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Wilderness Photography The Wilderness Photography forum is for the discussion of photography (videography) gear, experience, and technique as it directly relates to wilderness photography. PBF members may also post self-owned photos that have been uploaded to the PB Gallery or as post attachments. Offsite links and offsite photos are prohibited. Please see ("sticky") instructional post located at top of threads.


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  #1  
Old 03-18-2011, 02:46 PM
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adventure_dog adventure_dog is offline
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ContainsImages Landscapes in High Dynamic Range

Is anyone playing with HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography in the backcountry? I haven't had a chance to take a long backpacking trip with my DSLR, but I have shot a few HDR photos in the "frontcountry" with some success.

Overall, I think HDR is an interesting technique that can enhance an already well-shot photo, but it can ruin one very quickly too. I'm looking forward to testing this technique some more when the weather is more favorable.

Please post your HDR photos and/or any discussion about the technique in this thread.


Cape Kiwanda cliffs, Pacific City, Oregon


tide pooling at Cape Kiwanda, Pacific City, Oregon
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  #2  
Old 03-18-2011, 04:31 PM
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tonto tonto is offline
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Ansel Adams Green With Envy

Great Shots!
Filtered in B&W would be studio quality for sure!!
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  #3  
Old 04-12-2011, 07:37 PM
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adventure_dog adventure_dog is offline
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Still not "backcountry" but these were taken on the Lower Deschutes River Trail (Oregon) during a recent bikepacking trip in HDR.


relic rail car


relic homestead - Harris Ranch


relic railcar interior - HDR has proven to be a good way to highlight both the inside and outside at the same time
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:15 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Thanks for sharing more pics.

I went bikepacking over there last year on that trail too. It's a shame that someone burned down one of the rail cars.

By the way, it's more backcountry than some popular national trail sections. I was there when it was hot summer weather and there weren't any stores out there with cold drinks - just miles and miles of desert.

What's your methodology for your HDR shots?

Reality
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  #5  
Old 04-12-2011, 09:05 PM
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adventure_dog adventure_dog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reality
What's your methodology for your HDR shots?

I'm shooting with a Nikon D90 with an 18mm - 200mm lens. The D90 can only bracket 3 shots, so I shoot 1 full exposure stop on either side of my desired shot. My tone mapping software of choice is Photomatix; it's easy to use and relatively inexpensive. You can also use a plug-in for older versions of Photoshop, but CS5 has more automated functionality.

I get the best results with a tripod and with no movement in the frame (i.e., birds, wind, trains, people), but I usually don't have a tripod and the world doesn't stand still. I have a lot more experimenting to do...
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:14 PM
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GGervin GGervin is offline
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As you know, I still shoot film and therefore have no direct experience with HDR. But I do have friends who use it to great success (as in my opinion you are doing with the above photos). I have seen one friend in particular handholding the camera in challenging light situations. Her technique is to set her camera to bracket very wide, and then handhold. When she shoots, I hear a dozen or more frames automatically taken.

I know she doesn't use all the frames she takes when she does that. She selects the frames to use for HDR once she gets into the computer. I think the advantage she sees in taking so many frames is that she may decide later she needed a 1.5 stop or 2 stop bracket to do the HDR with. That guarantees the best range between shadows and highlights possible.

If your D90 won't bracket more than 3 photos, you could probably get the same result as her by bracketing in 1 stop increments, then bracketing in 1.5 stop increments, then bracketing in 2 stop increments. More of a pain in the rear, but it might help increase dynamic range in some cases. (Not that it looks like you really need to change anything you're doing! Those are great photos, and I like the dynamic range you achieved in them.)

I forgot to ask, but I believe she is getting away with hand-holding by setting the shutter speed fairly high and letting the camera bracket f-stops accordingly. Her end results are excellent. I don't think I've ever seen a photo of hers I haven't liked.

Just thought I'd share in case it helps.

Last edited by GGervin : 04-13-2011 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:31 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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i am SO going to have to try this when we get the other SLR fixed... that's a fantastic effect and one i've never played with.
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  #8  
Old 04-14-2011, 09:39 PM
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adventure_dog adventure_dog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGervin
If your D90 won't bracket more than 3 photos, you could probably get the same result as her by bracketing in 1 stop increments, then bracketing in 1.5 stop increments, then bracketing in 2 stop increments. More of a pain in the rear, but it might help increase dynamic range in some cases.
Good idea! That will definitely call for using a tripod because I have to manually dial in the stops and if the frames don't line up then the composition gets really blurry. I'll run a few tests with 1, 1.5, and 2 stops on a tripod to see if I see a pronounced difference.

Because we have such dynamic weather in the PNW, it would be nice to have a bigger range - particularly for clouds. Here's a shot I took a couple of weeks ago on my way home from work. It looks a little bit overproduced, but I like the clouds.

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  #9  
Old 04-16-2011, 11:24 PM
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GGervin GGervin is offline
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I used to refuse to carry a tripod because of weight. The tripod that changed me is the Gitzo Weekender carbon fiber tripod. It weighs a pound and a half (legs only), so it's very light weight for a good tripod. When I got it, I went from never carrying a tripod to always carrying one. A lot of people will tell you the Weekend series isn't stable enough for good serious photography, but I disagree. Although I have to use a support arm to mount the view camera on it, I can and do use it for the view camera. Without the support arm, it worked perfectly for 35mm SLR use. (I just discovered the Weekender is now made in basalt, not carbon fiber - no idea how basalt works.)

The only real drawback is height. It doesn't go to full height, so I do have to get on my knees to use it, but that's never stopped me from getting a good photo. Maybe just a little extra imagination it choosing where/how to set up the camera.

I don't intend to turn this into a thread on tripods, but I did want to point out there are very backpackable tripods out there these days. You don't have to settle for something heavier than a bear can anymore. Having a tripod you're willing to carry can make the difference between success or failure in the backcountry with some photo work, and I think HDR is probably a good example. I hope you have - or can get - a good packable tripod for your HDR work.

By the way, I've never actually used it this way, but I suspect you could use the Weekender as the foot-end pole on an ultra-light tarp. (It isn't always easy to find multi-use in photo gear!)
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  #10  
Old 05-25-2011, 01:07 PM
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adventure_dog adventure_dog is offline
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I recently returned from a 3-day, 40-mile trip along the Rogue River in southern Oregon. I carried my DSLR for the first time on a multi-night trip and took a few (literally - only 4 or 5 compositions) hand-held HDR photos. These were taken +/- 2 stops from an exposure setting that the camera chose (I was in Program mode) and tweaked in Photomatix.

Some day I will get a tripod, actually bring it on a trip, and be patient enough to stop and set up a shot. Until then...


wildflowers along the Rogue River Trail


Rogue River canyon near Blossom Bar


wild iris line the forest understory
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