Intro by Skip Cohen
I love being able to share these excerpts from Dan Cox's LUMIX Diaries. First, every image is a terrific representation of why LUMIX cameras are being called "game changers" and second, I'm traveling vicariously along with him on each of these trips!
This is just an excerpt from October 1, but it's got some great suggestions, including how he likes to set up HDR. Dan's complete series is just a click away and well worth taking the time to read!
Dan should be on your radar. Check out his website at NaturalExposures.com. It's your link to everything he's working on, workshops, projects and his team.
October 1, 2014
Yesterday was rainy and we had to wait for this morning for the spectacular views Lake Louise is famous for. We weren’t disappointed! The image below was shot just out of the Lake Louise hotel, and yes, there were lots of other folks taking in the beautiful scenery. The sun rose this AM at about 7:40 or so, and more than one person had a difficult time hauling their tired bodies out from the opulent bedding the hotel provides. Nobody complained however; the scene was too amazing to complain.
For this image I used Nik’s HDR Efex Pro 2. I’m no master at it for sure and if you think this looks like HDR then I’ve failed. Please post your thoughts in the comments. I typically see very few HDR images I really like and subtlety is essential in my mind. But this scene cried out for something other than split neutral grad I’ve used in the past.
The technique I use for creating a series of images to run through Nik’s HDR software is this. First I switch over to complete manual exposure. Normally I shoot mostly on Program. Yes, Program, but that’s another story. The first frame I shoot is with my hand over the lens or with a lens cap on. It’s helpful for HDR sequence to have a black frame on the front and at the end. I then set my focus using the AF of the camera. Once the focus is set I switch the AF off.
The next step is to start exposing the frames. The first exposure is dead on what the camera’s meter suggests, then I shoot three exposures under at 1 stop each. Next I go back up the scale and shoot three exposures over what the camera suggests at one stop each. I should also mention that White Balance is set to cloudy. Finally I finish with another black frame by putting my hand over the lens and shooting an exposure. for now the process is finished.
Eventually I select all frames in Aperture and the select Edit In which takes the frames into Nik’s HDR EFIX Pro 2. The rest is computer magic. Within Nik there are lots of choices, most of them as phony looking as an Elvis impersonator so I search for the one that is most realistic. Then I fine-tune the image with some of the options Nik has available. That’s it. Let me know what you think.
After the morning we hit the road for our five hour trip to Jasper. The entire day is a series of stops for waterfalls, scenics, restrooms and more scenics. Just as we enter the outskirts of Jasper we see a beautiful bull elk. We end the day with a great shoot just before the light gets too dark to shoot.
Welcome to Luminary Corner. Besides being a recognized member of the professional photographic community, each post author is a member of Panasonic's LUMIX Luminary team.