top to bottom: ‘come doomsday’, ‘silo’, ‘untitled’.
a couple of days ago i went on a shooting walkabout with kyle and as usual, we ended up along the familiar urbanscape of singapore which we should deliberately avoid in future.
anyway, for this particular walkabout, i decided to shoot in order to experiment with a technique known as ‘hdri’, or high dynamic range imaging.
allow me to geek out for a moment. hdri is basically a technique that allows a shortfall of the camera to be overcome:
when a picture of a high contrast scene is taken, the ‘dynamic range’ in that scene is far greater than what cameras can currently record. examples of these is when the sun (light source) is in the frame, creating a very bright background (the sky) and very dark foreground (land, or buildings, or whatever surfaces the sunlight does not reach).
what happens is that if the photographer exposes the picture in order the preserve details in the sky, the foreground would go completely black (no shadow details). should the photographer choose to expose the darker foreground properly, the sky would then be ‘burned out’ (turned totally white with no details whatsoever).
with hdri, the photographer records at least 3 images of the same scene, exposing for the hightlights, midtones and shadows. a tripod is usually required so as to keep the camera steady. i did not have a tripod that particular day so i just engaged the auto-bracketing function on my camera (in 2 stops interval), handheld the camera as steady as possible and fired three-shot bursts. seemed to work fine in this case.
in post-processing, the images (at least 3 and up to 7 or even 9 with differing exposures) are blended together using photoshop (very tedious if you want to do it properly) or other softwares such as photomatix (which is the most popular choice).
since computer displays are unable to properly render hdr images due to their over-the-top bitrate, a process called ‘tone mapping’ is then carried out to rein in the blended image so as to make it viewable. creative effects, such as that you see above, can be carried out during this process. i then played around with the tones and added sharpening in photoshop, yielding the images above.
there are of course purists (already!) of hdri who scoff at attempts to generate the kind of pictures you see above. to them, the ‘natural’ look and feel of the original scenes cannot be subjugated to such processing. but hey, everyone has got things that rock their boat so let the hating and the creating continue, if i have anything to say about that.
regardless, i have to admit that some of them make sense in pointing out that the fundamentals of photography, such as composition and lighting should be elevated above techniques, which is what hdri is. techniques come and go, but mastery of the basics will always remain crucial to a photographer’s development.
having said that, i believe just as much that new technologies and techniques should be harnessed in allowing the expression of an artistic vision.
i am just getting started with this technique and i see myself using it a lot in future. just got to always remember that at the end of the day, hdri is only what it is – a tool.
to read wikipedia’s article on hdri, click here.
to see more posts on photography, click here.
to see the rest of my pictures, visit my flickr. click here.
clockwise from top: “day of the worm”, “untitled”, “almost fine art”, growing on the wall”.
given the rather short-lived attempt at the ‘a photo a day’ project, largely due to a multitude of reasons and excuses, i have decided instead to make a few amendments. most noticeably, the project will now be renamed ‘a photo somedays’. this will allow me to shoot at my own pleasure without much challenge, thus defeating the very purpose of the project.
above are some of my recent and not so recent works that i have previously not displayed.
to view more from “a photo somedays”, click here.
to see the rest of my works, pay my flickr a visit by clicking here.
for more posts on photography, click here.
this was voyeuristically shot from the last row of a bus, which i often can be found. of course, this elderly malay couple were not engaged in anything inappropriate. what caught my eye was how the postures of their bodies seemed to mirror each other’s. it is said that when people have been together for a long time, they start to talk like each other, to act like each other. in a sense, they unknowingly become mimics.
so much for the photo of the day. in other developments, i went for an interview with the owner of a wedding photography business today. apparently, they are in the process of restructuring and expanding so they are looking for ‘young blood’ to help with the ever-burgeoning number of assignments. he seemed to like my work. or at least i hope he does.
to view the rest of the pictures from ‘a photo somedays’, click here.
took this bunch of pictures when i went on my ‘lazy lunch’ route downstairs to get some food. well, it’s called ‘lazy lunch’ becuase that meal is part of a ‘lazy day’, one in which i do nothing but wake up late and watch videos the whole day (there’ve been plenty of such days).
anyway, i kept my eyes opened through the short walk, and couldn’t help noticing how quiet the estate was in the early afternoon, when most folks are away. so i created a series devoid of the human element, rendered starky in black & white to communicate this.
to view more posts from ‘a photo somedays’, click here.