Just living in a place is not enough. You can live in a community and not understand it. Just looking at it wont do. I almost believe we don’t see anything until we understand it. Look into the history of the area – why it started, how it developed. The more research you can do the place, the more you may realize that you don’t know it as well as you thought you did. Let the subject speak for itself. Be true to the subject. Pretty pictures are only an escape from the subject. Don’t photograph a good-looking branch just because it looks nice; the branch should mean something about the community. Photography is statement; it has to tell us things about a place
Berenice Abbott, The Best of Popular Photography by Harvey V. Fondiller , ISBN: 0871650371 , Page: 280
How true. Before going out for the day I always do research about the area I am visiting to photograph. This serves several purposes. It gives me an idea what is available and how to find it. Some of the little churches I have photographed would never have made it onto this blog without the research. Google Street View and Google Maps are invaluable in giving location information, parking, road restrictions, terrain etc. Finally history. Wales has a rich history and we are more than blessed with medieval castles and churches as well as beautiful scenery. Fortunately there is a wealth of historical information available on the internet, including this web site just for our county
I must admit this weeks challenge has sort of stumped me. I don’t have photographs of people escaping, or animals either. I haven’t escaped to a different time or place. I’m not lost in a maze, or stuck in a room, maybe I could be boxed in, but I’m not. I am however going on vacation at the end of the week and once again it’s a no phone, no internet type of break. So in a way I am escaping.
But what about this weeks photograph? What has that got to do with escaping? Well to be honest…absolutely nothing. There’s no hidden meaning or symbolism. The fact that I am in a Cathedral with stained glass and muted lighting means that I’m in a Cathedral with stained glass and muted lighting. I’m here to try a new technique for making sure that I capture all of the dynamic range of an image.
I have spoken about HDR before and the need to capture several images for the software to process. I use six images which is fine for outdoors photography but I have been finding that it’s not enough for inside where I might have really bright areas and really dark areas, such as in the photograph below.
The problem I was finding that 6 images still left me with bright areas looking over-exposed. To get round this I’ve switched the camera off auto-bracket and now work purely in manual. It takes longer to get my photograph set for the software to process but it is worth it as the results are definitely better.
The other thing I have done is change my processing software. Previously, I used a program called SNS-HDR Pro but over time I had drifted to other HDR software. When I rebuilt my PC late last year I didn’t install SNS-HDR Pro and to be honest I had forgotten how natural the output is and how well it handled highlights protection. Not any more. It’s back on my computer and the three images above were all processed with SNS-HDR Pro.
This will most likely be the last article for two weeks as once again I remind you that I will be on vacation with no telephone or internet access.