Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement


I’ve had lots of achievements in my life. Leaving home at 17 to follow my chosen career path and being successful at it, meeting my wife, we’re still together after nearly 40 years, my sons and other things through the years that I could think of as achievements. But this is a blog about my photography so I suppose I should include some achievements from that box of magic tricks that I hold in my hand, now and again.

Over the years I have experimented with different styles of photography, but in the end I always come back to HDR. Some people hate it, some absolutely love it but for me it has opened up a world of light and shade that I couldn’t achieve SOOC. It’s taken me years but nowadays I’m happy with “my style and look” and to me that is an achievement in itself.

Rusty Gate

Now I never show you a photograph that’s come straight from the HDR software, there’s always a certain amount of post processing to do, usually a slight amount of colour adjustment and sharpening.

there is still far too much of the sort of work that can be seen for nothing in the shop-window, not to mention one or two examples of “retouching” which can only be compared to the pipes and moustaches with which portraits of the sovereigns of England get decorated in school histories…. Retouching claims to be an art within an art; and doubtless it is so in much the same way that conjuring as applied to table-turning is an art within an art. All the more reason for it to be artistically done. It ought, however, to be excluded from a photographic exhibition, on the simple grounds that it is not photography… – George Bernard Shaw – commenting in a newspaper (17 October 1888)

I wonder what George would say today? Come to think of it. What’s your view on retouching? Are you straight out of the camera (SOOC)? Or maybe you’re a Photoshop or Lightroom Wizard. I’d love to get your views.

7 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement

  1. Jeremy November 20, 2014 / 18:18

    Nice achievement, Mike! I appreciate HDR photos but I’m very disturbed by those which have obvious halos. Yours are awesome.

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    • Mike Hardisty November 23, 2014 / 19:43

      Hi Jeremy, for a long time now I’ve tried to keep the landscapes as natural looking as possible

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  2. Andrew November 21, 2014 / 10:05

    Your images don’t look like HDR Mike. They just look natural, which of course they should. My amount of processing varies enormously. I have a few favourite presets and I do a check for sensor spots etc and then it is down to mood and how challenging the dynamic range is. I’m not committed to any single approach but my black & whites invariably end up with a certain look. You chose a beauty for us this week.

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    • Mike Hardisty November 23, 2014 / 19:49

      Landscapes I do try to keep as natural as possible, Andrew. I suppose over time we find something we like and tend to stick with. I once has a comment from someone who said they’d recognise my work anywhere. I didn’t know whether to,be pleased or worry that I had become too predictable.

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      • Andrew November 25, 2014 / 13:11

        I think you should be pleased Mike. I wish I had a style!

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  3. petspeopleandlife November 22, 2014 / 05:31

    Mike, what ever you post, I always like for I happen to like your photography. HDR suits my taste just fine but if you did not “touch-up” a photo, I would still like and appreciate your talent.

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    • Mike Hardisty November 23, 2014 / 19:52

      Hi, Yvonne, there’s always a little bit of touch up, even if it’s only sharpening. But HDR suits me and it’s fun to look at a scene and decide if I need HDR and then decide what camera settings I’m going to use.

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