Fishermen Return

Title – Fishermen Return

 Photographer name – Paul Mack

Description of place

This was taken at Umhlanga Beach,Kwazulu Natal,on the east coast of South Africa.

 Technical information

Camera –Canon 500D

Lens – Sigma 10-20mm ex 3.5

HDR Software – Photomatix

ISO -200(Gave a little more speed to freeze the wave movement)

Aperture – f8(Normally use f11,f13 but I needed the extra speed it gave)

Number of exposures – For the foreground 3(+2,+1,0 actual 1@+2)and 7 for the sky (-4,-3,-2,-1,0,+1,+2 actual 3 @-2,0,+2).While adjusting for exposure in Adobe Raw,images were dropped 1 ev(ie +2 was adjusted to +1 etc).

Tripod/handheld – Tripod

Extra processing information:

The reason I used the +2 image for the foreground and ocean was because it had no blown highlights,and it had the right movement in the waves that I was looking for(it worked because of the slightly longer exposure,giving that “alive” look).In my experience the overexposed images can be used and adjusted in adobe Raw to create a proper exposure with less noise issues.And they have the added benefit of more light and texture information(larger file size than the underexposed images).This is not always the case with skies though and more in camera underexposures are more often than not, needed.I find that maximising contrast(“dynamic” contrast in Nik) works the best in HDR ie I will keep pushing this till shadow clipping and blown highlights occur,then I adjust back a little.For this type of processing you need to process the sky seperately,as skies are a sensitive area and need to be handled with care.

 Photographers bio

Ever since I can remember I have had an interest in colours,textures and lighting.Back in the day when I used to play computer games(I used to choose them according to their graphics ratings and with this came the promise of beautiful textures).I would end up having to reload levels often because I was so busy looking at the view ingame,that I ended up tasting dirt more often than the norm.I used to spend a lot on graphics cards just to maximise texture integrity.Hdr is just an extention of that and what I have found is that this can be very “addictive”,especially as far as the processing is concerned.I remember seeing my first glimpses of Hdr on Flickr about 5 years ago.I was sold.Not having a SLR did have its shortcomings…I experimented with a cellphone initially,lining up exposures seperately.I have only in the last 12 months or so had access to a SLR and if I look back only a few months,most of my stuff was a little cringeworthy,really overcooked.But like a dog with a bone I will try and keep trying till I have perfected HDR as an artform.It is a very large learning curve and I find light handedness works best with this photography method.There is no right or wrong really  and we are a large community of like minded people,most of us willing to help each other get over the first few hurdles.Here is to HDR!