Category: HDR Photography

Shadows And Highlights–A Study In HDR

This new schedule, Wednesday to Tuesday, for the weekly photo challenge, is playing havoc with my diary. With the old one we’d be told on the Friday, I use the weekend to plan and usually go out on a Wednesday. Write the new blog post on a Thursday. But that’s not to be, anymore. Nevertheless I need to get a blog post out so here goes. Wednesday saw me in Chester Cathedral. I’ve visited before but never with the camera so I felt it was time to rectify the situation. The cathedral has some great places to photograph. the Cloisters, Gardens, Lady Chapel and Quire Stalls to name but a few. So let’s start with the cloisters. I was hoping for some better shadows, but the light outside was just dull grey, so very little light was cast through the stained glass windows. It didn’t help that the cloisters were also lit by spotlights and those wall lights you can see, throwing a very orange cast over everything. Sure I can compensate for this, either in the camera or in post, but it’s one of those extra annoying things to deal with.

Chester Cathedral

I have to say that in most of the photographs you will see today I resorted to using HDR and my trusty old friend PhotoMatix. Now there’s a piece of software I haven’t used for some time.

I’ve swung far from the straight and narrow path of straight photography… I’ve done some hokus pokus that would make the shadow of Daguerre haunt me for a heretic. – Anne Brigman

Wandering around the cathedral I found this room with very high arches, Same thing again, a lot of lighting, it was giving me the shadows and some nice highlights, but once again, maybe a bit too severe.

Chester Cathedral 1

 

Still you work with what you’ve got

If the lighting in a scene is non-uniform or if there are shadows, the lighting will, in general, appear more non-uniform and the shadows darker in the picture than in the original scene. This is purely a visual effect having nothing to do with the photographic process as such. – Ralph Evans

Anyway, moving on. Chester, like many cathedrals, attracts lot od visitors, some come to pray, some to look at the architecture and stained glass, some to photograph it, like me. What I like is that during services, they ban photography and ask for silence, as a mark of respect, so I left my visit to the Lady Chapel until later in the day.

Chester Cathedral 1_2

 

At the rear of the Lady Chapel is a stone monument, the Shrine to Saint Werburgh, patron saint of Chester. Originally the shrine was located at Hanbury in Staffordshire, but continuing Viking raids in the late 9th century prompted it to be moved to the church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. (Now the site of Chester Cathedral). During this period and before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 a monastery was established. Later, under the Normans a Benedictine Abbey was founded. Under the Normans the shrine continued to be a site of pilgrimage.

Then in 1540 came the dissolution of the Abbey, which later led to the creation of Chester Cathedral. Want to know more about the Dissolution Of The Monasteries, one of the most revolutionary events in English history, follow this link. Note this will take you to Wikipedia and open a separate page.

The Shrine was broken up during the dissolution and Werburgh’s relics were lost. In 1876 what was left of the stonework that survived was reassembled and put on display at the back of the main nave in the Lady Chapel.

Chester Cathedral 1_1

You know I took so many photographs whilst I was here, this blog post could have been 5 times as long, maybe I’ll do a second one with another batch of photographs. Meanwhile,

Chester Cathedral 1_4

Now this was really hard to photographs. There was a constant procession of people and it wasn’t so well-lit, so I was having to take a lot more bracket sets than I intended..and in everyone, someone would walk through the scene. So In desperation I dug out my trusty 10 stop ND filter and went for an extremely long exposure instead of an HDR. Don’t ask me the science behind it, but a long exposure will remove all moving objects, i.e. people from your photograph. Better still if you can get a really long exposure, in the region of several minutes you should be able to “make disappear” those who tend to walk slowly or stand still in your photograph.

That’s some nice stained glass so I went in for a closer look.

Chester Cathedral 1_3

Well that’s it for this week. Just a few photographs from my wander around Chester Cathedral. I hope you enjoyed them.

Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge

Shadow of the Lake – Progressing into Solitude
Visions Of A Daydreamer Weekly Photo Challenge- Shadow
IN THE SHADOW OF LIGHT – A Penny For My Thought
Shadows 1, 2 & 3 – Rebecca Wiseman Portfolio
Sue’s words and pictures Shadow selfie
Julie Powell – Photographer & Graphic Artist Weekly Photo Challenge – Shadow
Books, Music, Photography, & Movies WPC- Shadow
Schatten photo – writingindevizes
What Rings Like a Bell But Makes No Sound- – Nes Felicio Photography
Shadows – Are you still reading-

Something’s New

Last week I mentioned that I was changing the software I would be using for processing my photographs. This week I’ve changed the theme I use for Say It With A Camera. This will probably be the last post where I embed the photographs from Flickr. For some time now I have been worrying about the forthcoming deal between Verizon and Yahoo, who own Flickr. Verizon are a telecoms company. Are they likely to want a photo sharing site? I’m not so sure but I’ve got to start hedging my bets because if they were to drop Flickr I would have an awful lot of broken links on my blog. Just about every previous post would be without photographs.

So I’ve got to start forward planning just in case.Right then, Ambience. It’s been a while since I’ve featured any of the historic churches that we have here in North Wales. I like photographing them, especially using HDR and then in final processing softening the focus just a little. So here’s a few just for fun.

Many of these old churches are quite ornate, look at that organ in the photograph below. The design of the pipes, Victorian workmanship at it’s best.

Saint Mary - The Organ

A simple church in some ways, but the wooden rail is exquisitely carved. Look at the floor tiles as well.

Pulpit

This is a side area of another church. It’s a dedicated family area, not for families, I mean paid for by a single family, the local landowner and this is where they would worship.

Stained Glass

Yet compare those churches above with the simplicity of this one. I know what I prefer.

Llangelynnin Church

That’s it for this week, here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge

An Adventure A Day Friday Foto- Ambience
Ambience – Captivate Me
A Taswegian in Finland Weekly Photo Challenge- Ambience
This is Another Story Weekend Retreat
Ana Linden Winter Moments – Ambience
Weekly Photo Challenge – Ambience – Ingrid Dendievel Photography
DAVID OAKES -IMAGES. Daily Post Photo Challenge – Ambience
Weekly Photo Challenge- Ambience – Marco’s Photoblog
Mindfulness through a lens WPC- Ambience
The Snow Melts Somewhere Fading Light in Venezia

Llangelynin–A Very Small Church

It’s been a busy old week. First of all I’ve been trialling some new photography software, not only for HDR but also for post processing my photographs. I’ve never been a fan of Adobe’s Subscription Model and as much as I like Lightroom for it’s cataloguing and RAW Development, Photoshop played very little part in my normal workflow. But what I really don’t like is that if you don’t keep up the monthly subscriptions then you lose the ability to work with your photographs. For me the problem has always been to find an alternative to Lightroom and that’s where ACDSee Ultimate might come in handy. I want to own the software not rent it. But at the moment I’m only trialling it, although I must admit I do like what I’ve seen so far.

So this weeks challenge is Tiny. I thought about this for a while and as you can see from the photographs, TINY is relevant, when you compare the size of the church to say a cathedral.

Llangelynin

Llangelynin is perched on a hill approximately 900 feet above the Conwy Valley in North Wales. There is a single track road that runs nears to the church but the last part of the access is on foot. Inside the church it’s very sparse. Some wooden benches and stone floors. Those flowers are plastic, but they do add a splash of colour. Llangelynin is not used on a regular basis for church services, I think it’s only about a couple of times a year, Easter and Christmas.

Llangelynin Interior

I did say I was working on trialling two bits of software. The other one is easyHDR. For a long time now I’ve been dissatisfied with the results I get from PhotoMatix. I don’t know what it is but PhotoMatix seems to be stuck in a time-warp, just never advancing. I can’t remember the last time HDRSoft issued a major release.

I just checked it was November 2013, that’s 3 years ago. That really is a long time in software terms, sure it’s stable, and there have been quite a few dot releases but it just doesn’t excite me any more. Whereas easyHDR is not mainstream but I enjoy using it.

Anyway, here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge

In My Own Words Weekly Photo Challenge- Tiny
Photography Journal Blog Weekly Photo Challenge- Tiny
Weekly Photo Challenge – Small on Tiny – Celina2609’s Blog
Our Own Little Walk of Fame – Aggie’s Amygdala
Say Tiny! – Blog of Hammad Rais
thephotoseye Tiny Thrills
Another Tiny View – Rebecca Wiseman Portfolio
Miss Jerz-tucky Weekly Photo Challenge- Tiny
Words Like Honey Weekly Photo Challenge- Tiny
deetravelssite.wordpress.com Tiny

Transmogrify–Is That A Word?

It’s early morning, the sun is up and I’m sitting in my study watching a rainbow form out to sea. Looks like we are going to be in for some heavy weather as the clouds are really dark and rain laden. How transient a rainbow can be. There one minute and then gone in a second. Anyway I digress. This weeks challenge is one of those WordPress ones that I hate. To me it is ambiguous, that’s a big word for so early in the morning, I prefer solid subjects.

Where better to see change than Autumn, especially on the mountains, the bracken changes from green to gold, the trees start to take on those brilliant patches of orange, reds and yellow whilst patches of sunlight breaking through the clouds dapple the slopes.

Autumn Colours

As winter approaches the landscape will change. The lake will freeze up, the tree will lose its leave sand I can guarantee that there will be snow here. Even now the heather has lost it’s brilliant purple hue as it gets ready for winter.

Llyn Ogwen

The night before last I went to Talacre Beach, it’s been a while since I’ve been there, mainly because of tourists. In the summer time it’s almost impossible to get a good photograph of the lighthouse or a sunset. You can forget that. because there will always be someone there clambering over the rocks or steps. You can’t stop them, the beach is open to everyone and lots stay for the sunsets. But in the late Autumn and Winter it’s totally different. For a start the sunset is a lot earlier, although not out to sea. But the other good thing, you hardly see anyone on the beach. It’s too cold for most people. Talacre is long and open with no protection from the prevailing winds which tend to be from the sea, so you have to wrap up well.

Talacre Sunset

Sunsets too are very brief. The light changes so fast but at this time of the year you get those great cloud formations which make for some amazing colours in the sky when the sun sets. Finally I’d like to leave you with another Autumn scene looking down the valley towards Snowdon in the distance. Anyone could get this photograph, it’s taken from a roadside stop on the main A5 road just outside Betws-y-Coed.

Autumn

So that’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed the photographs – Mike

As usual here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.

This is Another Story Color Transformation
From Egg to Sheer Beauty – Micks Blog
Doug Couvillion’s Photo Blog Weekly Photo Challenge- Transmogrify
Sea Play Photography Weekly Challenge- Transmogrify
XingfuMama My little pumpkins don’t do scary
Crafting Photolog Weekly Photo Challenge- Transmogrify
Mataro Photographs Halloween Transmogrification
Nature & Travel Photos WPC – Transmogrify
Let the Images Speak Transmogrify
The Land Slide Photography Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine, Or In My Case, Reflection

Looks like I got this one wrong. I’m going away for a couple of days and for some reason I had in my mind that this weeks challenge was reflections. So I prepared a load of photographs that obviously had reflections in them and how wrong that was.  I don’t have time to go back as we are going away first thing tomorrow, so here we go. Reflections, NOT Shine. Shine, NO, Reflections.

First up, Valle Crucis Abbey. Or at least the ruins of the Abbey. Built in 1201 by Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor, Prince of Powys Fadog, the abbey was one of the richest Cistercian Abbey’s second only to Tintern Abbey. However in 1537 the abbey was dissolved on the orders of Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The building is now a ruin, but you can visit it as it’s under the care of CADW, the historic environment service of the Welsh Government.

Valle Crucis Abbey

Talacre Lighthouse, always good for a photograph, features next. The beach at  Talacre often ends up with pools of water left behind when the tide goes out. Of course when that happens chances are you will be able to catch reflections of the lighthouse or the sky in the water

Talacre Lighthouse

Couple of weeks back I was at the RSPB reserve at Burton Mere on the Wirral. Although the reserve is mainly on the Dee Estuary, the opposite side from me in Wales. If you look to the horizon, that’s Wales and that’s where I am, well not when this photograph was taken, obviously. I’m in England then. Anyway I digress. There are several large ponds that the migrating birds use although not at the moment or I wouldn’t have this lovely mirror photograph.

Reflections In A Pond

Llyn Nantle Uchaf is a funny lake. It’s certainly not one of my favourites, even although it has distant views of Snowdon. I don’t know, there’s just nothing there. Sometimes you will see some small rowing boats tied to those poles but……I just can’t explain it. Anyway Llyn Nantle Uchaf.

Llyn Nantle Uchaf

If you walk the Miners Path from the top of the Llanberis Pass you can eventually end up on the top of Snowdon. The Miners Path itself is quite level, ok there’s a little bit of up hill and down dale, but nothing too strenuous. That is until you need to start ascending to meet the Pyg Track and the eventual climb up to Snowdon, which can be seen in the distance.

Snowdonia

I love Cornwall, land of myth, small fishing villages and so much more. In the summertime you can’t move, the roads are busy, it’s full of tourists, I know, I know, what am I but a tourist, but if you are willing to explore you can find little villages which are off the beaten track.

Harbour

For my final photograph I’d like to leave you with this beautiful sunset taken on the coast near Harlech in Wales. The sun sets over the Llyn Peninsula and those rocks in the foreground just add that little bit of extra interest.

Sunset Reflection

Here’s what other bloggers, who got it right, are saying about this week challenge.

Jaspa’s Journal South Stack Lighthouse, Anglesey, Wales
Weekly Photo Challenge- Shine – Svetlana’s Photography
4otomo Shine
Ron Mayhew’s Blog Photoessay- Prague after Dark
Photography Shining Pools – Mike Baker
Diary of a Married Woman Macro Shine
Anvica’s gallery Shine
Weekly Challenge- Shine… – Through Jersey Eyes
The Royal Palace of Sweden – From Hiding to Blogging
Lulu’s Musings WPC- Shine