HDR Photography and More by Dave DiCello

Tropical Escape

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a picture from Jamaica on my blog.  Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever posted a picture of Jamaica on here or even talked about it.  Well, either way, one is making an appearance today!  I thought that this was a great time since it was 14F this morning, and freezing rain is in the forecast for the next few days.  Awesomeness.  Can’t wait.  Anyhoo, how about a little warmth?  Just talking about it makes the cold a little less tolerable!

We made the trip to Couples Sans Souci in Ocho Rios, Jamaica for our honeymoon.  There were a few places on our list, like St. Thomas, the Bahamas, Aruba, but we settled on Jamaica just because we wanted a nice, relaxing time, and didn’t want to have to feel pressured to join in resort activities or do excursions.  Well let me tell you, it was an excellent choice!  It was eight days of sitting on the beach, drinking glass after glass of whisky and tequila, and the wife have pina coladas, mudslides, margaritas and every other fruity/nauseating drink you could think of.  Don’t be fooled by the nauseating part…I mean, I like a margarita just as much as the next guy, but after three or four of them in the hot sun, all that sugar sitting in your stomach, you’re just asking for a bad day!  I stuck with the good stuff and felt great!  I don’t want to go through our entire trip (could be the longest blog post ever if I did, but I will go in more detail in future posts), so on to today’s shot!

This is one I took on our last night there after we ate at the nice restaurant on the resort.  There was one helluva storm brewing out over the water, and I was able to capture decent lightning for the first time (see below).  The above shot was taken about twenty minutes after that.  It was really cool to see the glow of the beach bar and the different shades of green being reflected in the water.  Since there was a storm moving in (or at least around), there was a fair amount of wind, which caused all the motion blur on the branches.  I kind of liked the look, gives you a sense of being there!

Technically, this shot was a bit more of a pain than my last couple.  Since I didn’t take my D700 on vacation I just had my D40X, where the noise control is not nearly as good.  This is a 7 shot HDR, processed with HDR Efex and then kicked over the Color Efex.  I added a Tonal Contrat filter on the whole scene except the sky, then added an additional Tonal Contrast Filter on the water.  Did some Selective Coloring to brighten up the green at the back of the shot, and toned down the highlights since the beach bar was too bright.  Finally, did some noise reduction in Topaz Denoise, and there ya go!

Exciting news, I will be unveiling a new tutorial later today on HDR Efex!  Stay tuned to check it out!

Thanks for dropping by and have a great week everyone!


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