Hi! I’m Mike Hardisty. It looks like somehow you’ve managed to find your way to my blog or maybe followed a link from one of my images around the web and ended up here. No! Did I get it wrong? Stay anyway. What’s the harm, take a closer look, you might like what you see.
I create images. An unusual word to use with photography, create. But it’s true. It’s very rare that I post an image S.O.O.C. (straight out of camera). I’m a firm believer in using software like Photoshop on my original image to transform it into my vision, “Oh no, another Photochopper” I hear you say, “Get me out of here.”
But wait. Think about it. Why should I let the software geeks and ultimately the processor inside my camera dictate what the final image will look like? It’s my photograph, my vision. For this reason it’s very rare that I take single exposures. I nearly always create multiple exposures. These are blended together on my computer using software called Machinery HDR Effects to create what I think is the perfect exposure. That’s right; I’m a practitioner of the black art of HDRI (High Dynamic Range Imaging). Remember though, it’s my vision.
Right from the start I learned how to shoot in manual, TV, AV, you know all those fun modes. Why let a machine make the decisions, that’s how SKYNET started and we all know how that ended. I like using creative techniques, HDR, Long Exposure, Exposure Fusion, Panoramas, and Light Painting.
Still with me? I just want to talk about gear, especially for HDR. First of all you need a camera. It doesn’t have to be a high end DSLR with loads of expensive lenses to get great looking images. However it should have extensive controls with manual and bulb settings. Another thing you definitely need is a sturdy tripod for long exposures. Trust me, you do, unless you want to constantly set your camera on top of something and prop it up with whatever’s lying around. Here’s my gear
- Pentax K-30 (my main weapon of choice)
- Samsung PL211 (little point and shoot, great for carrying around as a “just in case” camera)
- Fuji FinePix S9600 (bridge camera, used in conjunction with Raynox DC 250 for macro)
- Sigma 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 (general walkabout when I want to travel light)
- Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 (sports and wildlife)
- Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6 (wide angle)
- Pentax 18-50mm WR (weather resistant, the one I have on my K-30 most of the time)
- Pentax 55-200mmWR (weather resistant, used for close-ups)
- Red Snapper RS284 Tripod
- Red Snapper RS12 Ballhead
- Giottos MML3270B Monopod
- Giottos MH1300 Ball Head
- ND Filters
- Polarizing Filters
- Infrared Remote Control for the Samsung Pentax K-30
- Machinery HDR Effects
- Unified Color HDR Express
- SNS-HDR Pro
I’m not into the whole Canon versus Nikon versus Sony argument. I leave that to others more suitably qualified. The Pentax K-30 is a great camera, it suits me and my needs and I’ve no intention of changing it in the near future. Oh! and another thing. I use a PC not a MAC, sorry if I’m disappointing you here, but a good fast PC will do the job just as well as a MAC and is a lot cheaper too.
I hope this give you a bit of an insight to me and my photography.
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