HDR Photography and More by Dave DiCello

Who I am / Contact

For those of you who don’t know me (and if you are here, then there is a good chance you do), my name is Dave DiCello, and I am an amateur photographer living just south of Pittsburgh, PA.  I’ve always had an interest in photography, dating back to when I was 7 and in the first grade.  I was the only one in my whole class who could bring a camera in during the last days of school.  I can’t even remember what it was, but it had the big disposable flashes that you would stick on the top!

As I progressed through high school and college, I always seemed to have a little point and shoot in my pocket, and I have had every brand: Kodak, Pentax, Casio, Olympus and Canon.  I’d take hundreds of pictures every week, but never did much with them other than print them out and put on my wall.

One day a few years ago I was browsing some picture websites and stumbled upon Trey Ratcliff’s HDRs and my photography world changed forever!  I started researching dSLRs and settled on the Nikon D40x, which I am still using today.  I started out hauling my camera to family gatherings, made a few trips hear and there, trying to figure out exactly what I was good at with this thing.  Once I got going into HDRs, I knew I had found it!

I started out just of my neighborhood, my tequila collection and my car, and it seemed like I was seeing the world through a whole new perspective.  Every scene I saw, on the way to work, on a walk with my fiance, just out and about, I thought “Man, I bet I could make this look AWESOME with HDR!”  So I did.

My camera and tripod started coming with me to the mall, to work, to the store, Pittsburgh Penguin games, anywhere and everywhere.  I joined flickr in late 2008, and pretty soon the ideas were just FLYING in, and my growth started to increase exponentially.  Being on there really opened my eyes to so many different types of photography, and helped me to see what I was doing right and wrong in terms of my HDRs.

In September of 2009 I got my first paid photography job: photographing the wedding reception of one of my friends.  It was at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, and while they got married in Hawaii, they had a separate reception here.  A thousand pictures and an album later, they couldn’t have been more pleased with the results.  This got me thinking that I wanted to get a bit more serious about my photography.  While my day job as a financial analyst for a major scientific supplies distributor certainly pays the bills, photography is slowly becoming more of a part of my life.

I started to really hone in on my processing in early 2010.  I was always happy with my pictures before that, but they didn’t really have the professional, high quality feel that so many HDR photographers had.  I was also getting a bit more creative with my compositions, not simply setting up the tripod and snapping away, but really thinking about, “Ok, what am I trying to capture here?”  I found that I was fast outgrowing my D40X, so I decided to make the plunge in July of 2010 to a full frame.

I actually debated going with the Canon Mark IV for the HD movie mode, but its ability to only bracket three shots was kind of a deal breaker.  So I decided to go with the Nikon D700 with then lenses being a 70-200 f2.8, 16-35 f4 and 50mm f1.4.  Man was I in heaven!  Autobracketing, no noise at ISO 1600, wide angle goodness, I had it all now!

One of the first shots I took with the D700 was of the new home of the Penuins, the CONSOL Energy Center.  This photo ended up being my first published shot, showing up along with another one of my images in the Pittsburgh Magazine.  I was also contacted to use one of my shots from Hoboken in a publication for the city of Hoboken, as well as various websites.  With all of this gong on, I decided there was one more thing that I needed.  A website.

In January of 2011 I launched HDR Exposed, and it is still a work in progress, but so far, I am seeing tremendous benefit from it.  I am going to focus this year on booking wedding, senior portraits and other photo sessions, and really make a name for myself in the Pittsburgh area for photography.

That’s about it for now, thank you so much for stopping by everyone!


You can reach me at:


25 responses

  1. Dave, looks good so far! Look forward to more stuff as you build it out. Keep the great pics coming!

    December 29, 2009 at 10:35 am

  2. Dave – I like you HDR work. I’ve also got a D40X and I may upgrade to Photomatix Pro this week – just wondered how you like it. I also use Adobe Elements 6. Take care/good luck.

    December 29, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    • Photomatix is a fantastic piece of software, definitely recommend it! Each version that comes out seems to produce better and better HDRs! let me know what you think of it!

      December 29, 2009 at 1:09 pm

  3. So cool to learn more about you, Dave! Your blog is awesome, wow! Love it! Congrats!

    January 2, 2010 at 6:28 pm

  4. Thanks for stopping by Dani! I know it is kind of bland right now, but I am working on it!

    January 2, 2010 at 6:47 pm

  5. This is a great looking blog!! Thanks for stopping by mine!! Even though running by still under construction, LOL!!

    January 2, 2010 at 6:52 pm

  6. readyaimclick

    Great stuff Dave, intresting bio! The blog is looking great, well done!

    January 2, 2010 at 7:04 pm

  7. Mikul

    I have learned about you since we met.
    I now await the actual settings I asked about to be linked into your blog soon.

    January 3, 2010 at 2:39 pm

  8. Iulia

    hello stranger!
    wie wenig ich über Sie weiß…
    hier http://www.kristianschuller.com
    hoffen Sie, dass Sie es mögen

    March 13, 2010 at 2:47 pm

  9. Dave,
    Was poking around flickr and just wanted to tell you I like your work. I never got in to HDR, but your work makes me want to experiment a little. If you ever want to do a photo crawl of Pgh, let me know!

    April 30, 2010 at 11:01 am

  10. Sherry

    Hey Dave! Just your future mother in law checking out your blog. The pictures are amazing and just so you know I expect lots of pics of future grandchildren. Love ya!

    May 25, 2010 at 1:24 pm

  11. Hey Dave! nice to know more about you. Hope to see you sometimes in pitt…i am currently in Pitt…Zia

    September 12, 2010 at 8:16 am

  12. Paul

    Your life story sounds a little like mine Dave,no kidding.When I was about 7 or 8 I used to create scenes with my action men(very elaborate ones) and shoot them.When my father had the photos took the photo roll to get developed he was not to impressed(this is back in the seventies).35 years later I was able only now to afford a descent SLR(Canon 500d),they are very expensive in South Africa.I have spent maybe 3 years trying to shoot HDRs with my cellphone and a couple of point and shoots.

    Whenever I look at things now I wonder how they would look in HDR.This really is a fantastic pastime Dave and people like yourself,Trey and many others provide inspiration.Cheers for now…Paul.

    December 5, 2010 at 6:35 am

    • Paul, thanks so much for stopping by and for sharing some of your story!!! I hope all is well in 2011 for you!

      January 18, 2011 at 7:52 am

  13. RG

    Great work with the S95. I just ordered mine and I can’t wait to start using it. I am new to photography and I am really excited about the S95.


    February 22, 2011 at 8:20 am

    • Thanks a lot! You will love it, it’s a great P&S!

      February 22, 2011 at 9:01 am

  14. I have been pleasantly surprised as I stumbled upon your blog via the Jamaica tag. Glad that I found it. You’re giving me inspiration to try my hand at amateur photographing once I can afford a decent camera. I like the fact that you even have free tutorials. That’s such a blessing. Keep up the good work and I’ll definitely try to be back from time to time.

    March 12, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    • Thanks Aurie! When you get that camera, shoot me a link to your site, I’d love to take a look!

      March 16, 2011 at 6:23 am

  15. Best of luck with the blog Dave! Great write up of your passion for photography and how you’ve stuck with it your whole life. Keep up the great work 🙂

    April 1, 2011 at 12:45 am

    • Thanks Mike! I appreciate the visit!

      April 1, 2011 at 7:07 am


    I need a little help, I’m trying to take a picture of myself in different positions like yours that show up in a bar in the background, playing cards. PS I have c3 and over as I do ….

    Thanks and congratulations for your photos.


    April 14, 2011 at 7:45 am

    • Hi Joe!

      It’s really not that difficult, and it is fun! Just set up your tripod and se the aperture to f11 or something close. You want to make sure that the whole picture is in focus. Set it on manual focus so that your focal point does not change. Take a shot of the blank scene, then take a picture of yourself in multiple positions. Import them all into Photoshop. All you have to do is go to “Layer Mask”, “Reveal All”, select the brush at 100% opacity, and brush over where you are in the picture. Once you have yourself masked in, Merge the Layer down, and mask in the next one, and so forth. I am actually working on a tutorial on this, and if you are still having troubles, i will let you know when it is done!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      April 14, 2011 at 8:11 am

  17. I cannot go technical as i am not a photographer, but what i can say is that the pictures you have taken are excellent. I am really enjoying the results of your hard work. Keep this going on.

    April 26, 2011 at 9:29 am

    • Thank you very much fo ryour kind words, I appreciate the visit!

      April 26, 2011 at 9:33 am

  18. Congratulations! Your HDR is awesome!!! You´ve inspired me, Im gonna start trying!

    Daniela Canestrari

    June 2, 2011 at 9:02 am

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