Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Decided Lack of Photo-realism or how much is too much

Before I put the Sigma back on the shelf I wanted to use its auto bracket mode to try to go over the top a bit to see what I could get out of it. It's cloudy today, a bit gloomy. Cuts down on getting much from the background as it's grayed out with humidity. So you shoot the sky, which, on a day like today is endlessly fascinating. Some directors call for "more." Give me "more." Like riding a motorcycle on a speed course. Racers have a couple of sayings, which are mutually exclusive. The first is: "you can't win if you don't finish." The other is: "You'll never know how fast you can go through a corner until you lay it down. After that, get back up and cut it back just a hair and that's how fast you can go." So we're trying to give "more" here and going as fast as we can before we wipe it out completely.
I took a few series of bracketed shots of: 1 stop minus, 1 stop plus and even. I chose a couple of sets that were side by side and processed them through Photoshop's HDR pro process, choosing some pretty radical processing for the "more" part. First we'll have the two side by sides which are in the middle (correctly exposed). Then will come the HDR processed combined shot.

But I realize not everybody's into going farther than you need to. So for some photo-realism respect, I went back to do the HDR in a more conservative manner. Not more but less is more?
 I must say once you begin experimenting with HDR, it's hard to look at a photo and not wonder what you could get out of it and how far you can push it. How far you want to go with it may be dependent on how long you've been doing it. At first you want to punch it up to see how "interesting" you can make it (before you lay it down). Then you begin to have some respect for the original image and dial it back before you dump it. More isn't always better, sometimes it's just more and yes, sometimes less is more.

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