Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ohio Foothills Outing

I recently joined a Flickr group that share photos of the Foothills of Ohio. It is dedicated to the rolling hills of the area I live in. Sunday September 27, 2009 was their monthly outing. I decided to join them in the Hocking Hills State Park. Roman Wilshanetsky AKA Lost In the Hills put together a presentation about HDRI images. Though I have done HDR images before I did learn a lot. I had primarily used an open source program called QTPFSGUI. After seeing Roman use Photomatix from HDRSoft I became a convert. We spent the afternoon hiking from Old Man's Cave to the Lower Falls and back. The weather was cool and the day started out cloudy and windy. During the day the clouds came and went creating variable lighting. It was a great afternoon of shooting in a very beautiful place in Ohio. If you would like more information about the area click here.

So here are my results from the day. By clicking any image you can see a larger view.

The first shot is looking back up the trail towards the visitors center. I set up and waited for several minutes for foot traffic to clear before taking the 4 exposures that make up this shot. Most people when shooting for HDR, shoot a 3 to 9 image bracketed exposure. I tend to take as many shots as required to make sure I get all elements of the scene properly exposed. I do this using the histogram and taking shots until I have the highlights properly exposed. I make note of this setting and then find where I get the shadows properly exposed. I then take a dark frame(put my hand in front of the lens to let me know where the correct image sequence begins). Then I capture the shots as quickly as possible with a one stop interval between the light and dark exposures capturing the full range. This allows you to get every thing from the sky to the shadows properly exposed for the HDR conversion.

So now for the first image.



The next image was at the bottom of Old Man's Cave there is a bridge over the creek. I set my tripod up low the ground and got a great image of the bridge.



I looked right and saw the sun peeking out. I turned my camera and moved so the sun was just touching the edge of a tree trunk and grabbed another series to make what is my favorite shot of the day.



The next image is the stairs leading up, around and down to the Lower Falls at Old Man's Cave.



I tried getting a shot of the Lower Falls but every image seemed to have a person in it. I am going to go through and see I can get something worthwhile out the series in the next few days.

I did go behind the bridge at the lower falls and set my tripod up in the creek, balance precariously on a rock to get the next shot.



Hiking back up to the visitors center you come to a wooden staircase that is very narrow.



Then you climb a long staircase through a long dark tunnel. After going through the tunnel I got a shot of the exit/entrance.



Enjoy the photos and if you have any questions click here to contact me.

Also on October 17 I am going to a photography workshop at Hocking Hills so stay tuned.