Let us all rejoice that February lays behind us as we turn toward greater light. I begin to dream of summer–too soon of course, but the temptation is great. So great that I sometimes forget myself and spend a day like today, not grading, but playing with Photoshop.
I have begun learning how to shoot HDR photos. High dynamic range (HDR) pictures involve taking several shots of the same scene but at different exposures. You bracket, like in the old days of film, so that you have under- and over-exposed shots to go with the medium-range shot. You then merge all the layers so that the shadows and highlights have greater detail, pulling as they do from the over- and under-exposed pictures. I have been using Photomatix to do the actual merging, then bringing all the layers into Photoshop for some finishing work. For anyone interested, I highly recommend the webinar videos of Trey Ratcliff at Stuck in Customs. I am halfway through the full 11 hour course. Interesting stuff.
Here are my first efforts.