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Lower Baker Pond for the Purists (a.k.a. I Survived Being Freshly Pressed)

Fall Reflections At Lower Baker's Pond, New Hampshire

Fall Reflections At Lower Baker Pond, New Hampshire~Non HDR

The response to yesterday’s miracle post, which got me “Freshly Pressed” (thanks WordPress!) was a bit overwhelming.   I’d like to thank everyone who took the time out of their day to take a look, and especially those who left comments.   Sprinkled throughout the commentary were a few opinions that the HDR on yesterday’s image was overdone, or too saturated etc.   I understand.  While the general public seemed to like what they saw, HDR can make the more serious photographer’s noses turn up, especially when it is perceived to be overdone.   I get it, and that is an entirely valid point of view.  For those purists who wanted to see a more normal looking view of yesterdays scene, today I offer a .jpg practically right out of the camera.   This is the same hillside and lake from yesterday’s post.

The dynamic range of the whole scene from yesterday’s image was way beyond anything the camera could handle in one exposure,  the correct exposure on the trees resulted in a totally blown out sky (and the sky’s reflection in the foreground).   The only way to have created yesterday’s image was either with HDR, or some major filter work with a neutral density grad.  That would have been especially problematic due to the fact that it was not just the sky needing tamed, but the sky’s reflection in the foreground.   If there are any skilled landscape photographers out there reading this,  maybe you have an alternative, I’d be interested in learning.   In a future post I may illustrate what I’m trying to convey here by posting the 3 original exposures I used to create the HDR    I will probably do that if  I sense anyone is interested in ‘how the sausage is made’ so to speak.   Thanks again to wordpress for finding yesterday’s post as worthy, and to all of you for visiting.

11 responses

  1. what you can do (assuming you have more than one grad ND filter, is to stack the two of them facing in opposite directions, so it brings down the exposure on both the real sky and the sky in the water. having a Cokin-type system helps with holding the grads in the right places.

    I must admit I like this photo better than the one yesterday … I actually don’t mind not seeing the sky but focusing instead on the mirror-image of the trees. nice to be able to compare the two as well

    October 12, 2010 at 11:21 am

  2. Just a layman’s eye here, but both were quite remarkable images to look at. I could imagine either of them in a calendar or a post card, but to have seen that first hand must have been amazing. I think it’s quite amazing how an artist can appreicate the beauty in something and capture it in a way that accentuates the beauty for others to see. It’s much the same as a writer retelling a story that may have otherwise seemed mundane to bystanders in a way that transforms the same simple story into a legend. Just as there are many styles of writing, I suppose there are many styles of photography, and it was a neat lesson to be able to observe multiple ways to retell your story with seperate photographs. I look forward to your upcoming posts!

    October 12, 2010 at 12:36 pm

  3. That’s the beauty of photograpy and art. No one will like everything you do, but someone will fall in love with whatever you do. You sound like you have a handle on what you like – and that’s what you’re going to shoot and process. But, I’m also glad you gave us the comparison. Great job.

    October 12, 2010 at 1:08 pm

  4. Ken Bello

    As a photographer with some years of experience, I understand the technical problems landscapes present. You handled this situation beautifully. It shows technical competence and artistic merit. HDR is not for everybody but remember that people hated Vincent van Gogh’s work until long after he was gone. Don’t let the opinions of others obscure your artistic vision.

    October 12, 2010 at 3:04 pm

  5. I appreciated the creativity of the first pic. Do what you love and present your photos how YOU want to!

    October 12, 2010 at 3:13 pm

  6. Thanks everybody once again for the comments, I appreciate it.

    October 12, 2010 at 6:40 pm

  7. When I compare yesterdays image to todays, I prefer today’s, not because the former was HDR, but because the former seemed to be overwhelmed by very warm light. It was just too much warmth for my sensibility, and all the oranges seemed to merge and it was difficult making out detail. That is not to say that the image could not be pleasing to anyone else, however.

    The images yesterday and today were both expressions of what you see in your mind’s eye, and as such, are true artistic artifacts. We, all of us, are going to experience everything we see in life through our own sensibilities, experience and training. Sometimes we will see things the same as each other, sometimes not. Regardless, what each individual sees is always right.

    I love HDR imagery and am currently practicing and developing my skills. Yes there are photography “purists” who disdain HDR, or any post processing manipulation, but they are simply denying themselves and opportunity to experience seeing in another way.

    October 12, 2010 at 7:20 pm

  8. Deina Zartman

    Art Wolf holds a filter in front of his camera lens for shots with sky and water reflections. The top half is a neutral density filter, but not the bottom, since the water reflection is already darker. I don’t have one, but I’ve seen him use it on the program, so…

    October 13, 2010 at 8:05 am

  9. Gayle's Life Journey after 40

    I wondered why you got critiqued on the negative when you didn’t ask for it. I suppose that’s a professional’s nature. I think they are both awesome.

    I do love to know how the sausage is made. You’re talking to someone who watches Unwrapped!

    October 14, 2010 at 7:59 am

  10. Thanks all. I don’t mind some critique as long as everybody is civil, which they were. Some good points have been made on the use of neutral density filters here in the comments as well. At some point I might try and go back to my original RAW files and recreate the HDR image in an attempt for a more realistic result.

    October 14, 2010 at 3:44 pm

  11. I loved the intensity of the previous shot, I love this one too, for its subtle autumnal tones. As a rank amateur I appreciate any tips you give, and would love to see how HDRs are put together.

    October 16, 2010 at 11:55 am

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