HDR Photography and More by Dave DiCello

Young love

I know that this blog is called HDR Exposed, but that doesn’t mean that everything I post has to be HDR.  Today, we take a break from city skylines and Pirate games.  I’ve taken a bunch of candids that I really like recently and may try to throw them in every now and again.

I used to be really intimidated by taking candids.  Afraid of getting caught, looking weird, and really just not quite sure what the best way to go about them was.  My equipment last year wasn’t the most well suited for it either; while I really liked the 55-200 lens for the D40X, it really doesn’t compare to the 70-200 2.8 on a D700.  I got inspired by a couple people on flickr, mainly DJ Poe, who always has incredible street shots of New York City that just have a dynamic cinematic effect to them.  While I haven’t been yet able to really emulate his style, I found that I started to develop a style of my own, a style that fit more of how I shoot.  I also got more comfortable having people see me taking pictures of them and figured how and at what time of day is the best time to photograph candids.  I still have a lot to learn, but I’m getting better each time I go out.

All that being said, more about today’s shot.  I took this on Mother’s Day as I was trekking around Mt. Washington.  There are usually a few people milling around up there, but on that particular Sunday there were quite a few people milling around.  I was getting ready to head back to my sister’s apartment and had just taken my camera off my shoulder to put in my bag when I happened to look up and see these two sitting on a bench in front of me.  I hurried my camera to my eye, all while dexterously zooming to 200mm, turning the camera on, setting the aperture to 2.8 (I was just taking skyline shots at f13), flip the switch to spot focusing and snap the shot.  A half second after I took this shot, she moved her head to look over the city.  Whew.  Just in time.

Even though this isn’t an HDR I still had some processing to do.  Opened in CS5, reduced overall saturation and kicked up vibrance a bit.  Enhanced the shadows and increased global contrast, as well as giving a closer crop to the couple.  I added a Tonal Contrast filter in Color Efex to help give it some local contrast.  In onOne PhotoTools I added a Golden Hour enhancer and a Turbo Boost, to help give the color a tiny kick and the entire image some punch.  Added the logo and shipped it off to the blog.

I hope you all had a great weekend.  See you tomorrow.

Oh, one more thing.  The lady over the girl’s left shoulder?  Yes, that is her stomach hanging out and yes she is holding an iguana.


16 responses

  1. Awe! She almost looks as if she is eyeing you up as well.

    May 16, 2011 at 8:10 am

    • Thanks for stopping by Chris! Yeah, I think that might have been why she turned around!

      May 16, 2011 at 9:39 am

  2. This is an awesome capture. Love the mood it strikes. Your quick reaction and setup paid off. 🙂

    May 16, 2011 at 10:17 am

    • Thanks Jimi! Sometimes it’s more about luck!

      May 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm

  3. Really cool candid shot man.

    May 16, 2011 at 10:26 am

  4. nice work Dave, really well done!!

    May 16, 2011 at 10:39 am

  5. Wow Dave this is wonderful – great work!

    May 16, 2011 at 10:47 am

  6. Great shot! I love the framing of the parking meters. It’s nice to do something out of the norm sometimes. I still have that apprehension for taking shots of random people. Maybe I need the confidence of a 70-200 2.8 😉

    May 16, 2011 at 11:33 am

    • You know the funny thing Chris? The 70-200 is the complete opposite of a candid lens, especially when I put the hood on it! Maybe people think I am a professional or something and that’s why they don’t say anything! I do love that lens though!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      May 16, 2011 at 1:33 pm

  7. I’m totally weird about taking photos of people. I try to make it like I’m shooting something above or below them, then adjust at the last moment to actually capture the candid. Nice job!

    May 16, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    • I still do that sometimes too Kristi, especially if there are a little sketchy looking! Thanks for stopping by!

      May 17, 2011 at 6:46 am

  8. Great candid Dave! The Bokeh is awesome!

    May 16, 2011 at 9:09 pm

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