Outdoor HDR during sunset Top

To those of you who are already into photography quite a fair bit, you probably already know the term “Golden Hour”.
When the sun is rising or the sun is setting, you usually get the best and warmest light for landscape or cityscape photography. Basically any kind of outdoor shooting that is supposed to have warm light is best shot during these golden hours.

Just today I was working away, when I checked a little while before the sun began to set, whether the sky was clouded or not. When it wasn’t, I immediately grabbed my gear, ran outside, set up the tripod on the location I wanted to shoot at a couple of days ago and waited.
After some time passed by, the sun just barely touched the horizon, so I used my remote trigger to start a bracketing sequence, shooting 3 pictures in a row. One was underexposed by -3 EV, one at normal exposure and one overexposed by 3 EV. This way I could later create the HDR picture that you can see below on the left side.

However, after processing the HDR, the whole scenery was rather evenly exposed. I like to use the HDR settings careful as my pictures shouldn’t have that typical HDR look. I tend to use HDR only if I can’t get enough dynamics into the picture without it. My main problem, however, was that the HDR processor (Photomatrix Pro) like any processor tries to balance out the colors nice and evenly.
Usually that would be a good thing, yet I wanted to reproduce exactly what I saw (and what I mostly captured in my 0 EV picture, yet with too little dynamic range). Also my FZ200 is quite a decent camera, but in extreme light situations (direct sunlight from the front) it will create some CA (chromatic aberration, the color fringing on some edges). So I had to correct for that with Photoshop and eventually adjust my colors to give me that nice and warm look the situation had at the time of shooting.

After some work, correcting CA, color correction, removing some lens flare and contrast adjustments, I had the final picture that you can see on the right.
If you click on the pictures, it will take you to flickr where you can see the full size version as well as the EXIF information.

hdr-edited hdr

Photographing first live gig Top

A few weeks ago, my good friend Maxi Suhr invited me to join in on a gig he had with Gerrit Brockmann.


Of course I wanted to take my camera along and take some shots. Knowing that the light situation would be difficult to say the least, I took my trusty Olympus FL36 flash along. A major drawback was, that I couldn’t use my flash most of the time (a woman in the audience would constantly complain about the flash making her feel dizzy). It was a small gig and I didn’t want to ruin the experience for the guests, so out of respect I tried to shoot my pictures without flash whenever possible. Even though I chose a rather fast aperture of f2.8, I was still often forced to use ISO400 or even ISO800 (which is a lot on a camera with as small as in the FZ200).

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Nonetheless, I think the shots turned out well in the end. I had a rather large amount of pictures to choose from, which did surprise me a little. I often had to select slow shutter speeds to get the required brightness and not get too much noise. I seem to have timed my shots rather well, because not too many were blurry. I got a lot of usable shots, selected the best and further edited them. Basically all I did was some contrast/brightness adjustment and a little color correction to get the warmth back into some shots.

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Overall it was a great experience I want to thank Gerrit Brockmann and Maxi Suhr again for inviting me over. You should also check out the Youtube channel.

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