Monday, August 09, 2010

Prickly Pear

For the past (nearly) four years I've driven the SS 385 to and from Palagonia.  Each time I pass a building with a prickly pear cactus growing out of the roof.  It never ceases to amaze me!

I've wanted for quite some time to stop and take pictures of this building, particularly bracketed shots for HDR. I've been waiting for the right moment, but as my time here draws near its close I thought that I should go out and take a few shots, even if the conditions weren't ideal.

I had a lot of fun taking and processing these images.  I hope to get back to that spot again when the conditions are better (a stormy sky or big puffy clouds would be great). But if that doesn't happen at least I now have a few shots to remember this particular place by - not that I could easily forget a cactus growing out of the roof!

For those of you who aren't as head over feet into photography and are wondering what the heck HDR is, HDR stands for Hight Dynamic Range.
"In image processing, computer graphics, and photography, high dynamic range imaging (HDRI or just HDR) is a set of techniques that allow a greater dynamic range of luminances between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than standard digital imaging techniques or photographic methods. This wider dynamic range allows HDR images to more accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to faint starlight." (

If you'd like to learn more about HDR I highly recommend Rick Sammon's book HDR Photography Secrets for Digital Photographers.  While it doesn't give step by step instructions he does give a good explanation on the different types of software available for processing HDR as well as detailed descriptions of what the different sliders do in the industry standard software Photomatix Pro.

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