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Hurricane Irene—Two Weeks Later

We had a chance to spend some time in central New Jersey this week, an area which has suffered heavy flooding due to repeated storms topped off by Hurricane Irene. There were plenty of downed trees still being removed and lots of flood damaged properties but everywhere we went most businesses had been able to re-open. The very high water made for some interesting photographs. This one is the historic Princeton Mill building located on the bank of the Millstone River.

Create Better Panoramas using HDR (High Dynamic Range) Photography

pl_bantaysrei_hdrpano-trim2One of the first steps I teach when we work on panoramas at a workshop is that you need to put your camera in manual to ensure that you get an even exposure from one side to the other. Setting that exposure requires panning across the scene and choosing a setting that is a good compromise from the lightest to darkest areas. Obviously this requires soft and even light and makes it difficult to photograph panoramas where part of the scene is brightly lit and part is in shadow.

Hacking on the merged image later using somewhat crude tools like the Shadow/Highlight adjustment in Photoshop is the most common workaround to try to address the problem of unevenly lit panoramas. But thanks to some goading by my friend Jim Ludemann I’ve started experimenting with using HDR when shooting tricky panoramas to allow me to create successful images even of scenes which have difficult lighting conditions. In this post we’ll take you through the process, step by step…

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Photomatix Pro 4: The Original HDR Program Gets Better

pl_pv-vineyard_0541hcWhen high dynamic range (HDR) photography burst on the scene the tool of choice for merging multiple images was Photomatix Pro. Since then some basic HDR capabilities have been included in Photoshop CS5 and nik Software has announced an HDR product so the market is heating up. I wrote about using the new “one shot” HDR capability of CS5 a few months ago. But HDRSoft, the makers of Photomatix Pro, have not been idle. They’ve shipped Photomatix Pro 4, a solid upgrade to their flagship product.

Like previous versions it is avaialbe either as a standalone product or as a Photoshop Plug-in (recommended for Photoshop users). Or you can buy their Plus bundle and get both.

Upgrades are available for current users.

I’ve been using it for awhile now and wanted to pass along what I’ve found and my thoughts…