HDR Photography and More by Dave DiCello

Cutting through

Thanks for all of you who stopped by on the first candid Monday yesterday.  I think that I keep them going, so look for more in the coming weeks.

Back to the HDRs and sunflares today.  It was kind of an accident how I stumbled across how to do sunflares, and before that I never even though to shoot directly into the sun.  I never really knew that to get those sharp, pinpoint flares early in my photographic/HDR career, I was just taking pictures.  One day I was out on my front porch trying fiddling around with HDRs and after scrolling through my brackets on the LCD I exited out of the menu but kept scrolling, which set my aperture to f22.  I lined up the next shot and fired off the shots, downloaded them on my computer and was a little curious as to why this one shot looked different than the rest.  I checked the EXIF and saw the aperture was f22 and I was hooked.

This particular sunflare is over downtown Pittsburgh during rush hour earlier this month.  I had to wait around for about 10 minutes to get everyone out of the scene, and just when I was ready to take the shot, this kid came and say down on the bench.  After seeing that he wasn’t going to leave, I took the shot anyway, and left him in to give the scene a bit of a human element.  It was pretty windy on this particular day, so I had some motion blur in the trees, which I actually chose not to mask out, the reason being that it made the scene look a little too static for my liking.

This is a 5 exposure handheld HDR processed with Photomatix and then shipped over to CS5.  I added blue, green and red adjustment layers for the sky, grass and trees, respectively, and also added a very slight shadow adjust to bring back some of the buildings, as they were fairly dark.  Ran it though Color Efex to give it a Tonal Contrast filter and that was that.

Take care until tomorrow.


19 responses

  1. Very nice, Dave. Leaving the trees with motion really added a lot, I think. And now… I know the secret. Thanks!

    May 24, 2011 at 6:50 am

  2. Man I love those bright pink trees and the the lens flare is awesome.

    May 24, 2011 at 6:55 am

    • Thanks Chris! They certainly do brighten up downtown!

      May 24, 2011 at 7:07 am

  3. Beauty scene! Really like the contrast in nature and city scape! Great flare!

    May 24, 2011 at 7:06 am

  4. Great scene Dave! I love the colors and that lens flare is phenomenal!

    May 24, 2011 at 7:46 am

  5. Another great color pop image. Nice job.

    May 24, 2011 at 8:57 am

  6. Cool shot, love those pink trees.

    May 24, 2011 at 9:43 am

  7. Didn’t even see the kid until you mentioned it… almost looks like one of those statues. Good thing he stayed still – great shot! 🙂

    May 24, 2011 at 11:38 am

  8. Awesome processing for a great shot. That sunflare is terrific, Dave.
    Beautiful scene!

    May 24, 2011 at 12:58 pm

  9. nice one Dave!

    May 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm

  10. Awesome work! Love the colors and vibrancy!

    May 24, 2011 at 3:44 pm

  11. Yen

    Very nicely-angled flare, Dave! The atmosphere here is great – makes you want to just lie on the grass and catch some sunlight. I love the pink blossoms! Pittsburgh looks great in the Springtime.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:23 pm

  12. Great job Dave, I’m not usually a fan of lens and / or sun flares but you captured this at just the right angle. Great lines, composition and processing. It almost has a fisheye appearance as well…

    May 25, 2011 at 8:45 am

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