Thursday, July 10, 2014

Flowers, Glass, and HDR photos

We got an email from a Geeks on Tour member who noticed that we were in the Denver area and she recommended that we visit the Denver Botanic Garden. When we responded that it sounded like a great idea, she came out to our RV and delivered a pair of admission tickets!  Thanks Karen! It was a very special day. A true feast for the eyes. I just couldn't snap enough pictures! With my good camera (Canon T3i) I took 3 exposures of each shot and let Google+ Photos turn them into Auto-Awesome HDR pictures. But then I also had to take some pictures with my cellphone - a Samsung Galaxy S5 - it does a great job. I'm wondering if you can tell which pictures come from each camera!?

What is HDR? It stands for High Dynamic Range and it means the range of light that occurs in the photo. The primary purpose is to take a good picture of a scene that has very bright areas as well as very dark areas. Here is the explanation we give in our Smartphone Photography workshop.

By the way, we'll be offering our smartphone photography workshop at the upcoming FMCA Convention in Redmond, OR  August 13-16.
My Canon T3i camera does not have a setting called HDR. What you do is use the Exposure Bracketing feature and take 3 pictures in a row of each shot. The first will be 'normal' exposure, the second is underexposed and the 3d is overexposed. I let Google+ Photos automatically upload all the photos to my cloud account and when it notices these 3 bracketed pictures it will use it's "Auto-Awesome" feature to put them together into an HDR photo. Here's an example:

I've written about this Auto Awesome feature of Google+ Photos in my blog. We also have a member tutorial video on Google+ Auto Backup and Auto Awesome.  This process not only gets the exposure right for the dark and light, but because it overlays 3 pictures, it also produces much richer colors. Often the end result looks more like a painting. It's easy for it to get overdone, but it also produces some very pretty pictures!
I knew that many of the HDRs from this day at the gardens would be over the top because the real colors were already over the top. But, isn't it cool?

As always, more pictures in our Web Album for July.


Anonymous said...

We haven't made it to the Botanical Garden yet but you can bet we WILL. Great shots. And thanks for sharing the Google + for HDR. I thought I would need Lightroom. Time for me to play :-)

Chris Guld said...

Yes, you must go Ingrid! You will love it. I look forward to your photos!