Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Velvet Elvis

Cameras are poor proxies for our eyes. Even on a sunny day our eyes can see details in both the shadows and bright areas at the same time. Cameras can only capture a portion of what we see.

To overcome that limitation photographers have developed a technique named High Dynamic Range Photography (HDR) where multiple exposures of the same subject are combined together using software to create a version that contains the range of light that your camera couldn't catch.

Many of the early versions of HDR photographs looked artificial, sometimes even garish looking like something from an alternative reality. The software has evolved to allow you to produce very realistic photographs. However, if you want to take artistic liberties you can produce wildly creative photographs. I call these "Velvet Elvis" images, named after those wonderful paintings on velvet that were so popular at Flea Markets and Crafts Fairs in the 1970s.

 I had been hoping to catch Harriers flying in that brief interval between sunrise and the start of the rain. They weren't cooperating so while waiting I occupied my time practicing some HDR photography.

(Click on the photographs to see these images in a large size. While you are there take a look at my redesigned website & let me know what you think.)

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  This version has a bit more of a painterly than photographic feel to the scene from the tower.

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In a normal photograph either you would see the bright mist, but the reeds would be in shadows, or the reeds would be visible but the sky would be white.

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I like the color of the flowers combined with the moody feel of the impending storm


When you visit the refuge keep your eyes peeled.  You will often find catbirds in the Winterberry bush eating the berries.

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I know that lately I've been focused more on the fauna at Great Meadows so I thought it time to include some flora. It's interesting to see the combination of late summer / early fall flowering plants combined with the subtle changes in color of the leaves as the trees start to transition into their autumnal display.

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Calico Asters

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Early Morning Dew on Maple

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Bee on Nodding bur-marigold

Finally it's not a great photo, but then again the bird wasn't in a great location. Here's a raven seen during Monday's bird census. That was a photography life bird for me.

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