Monday, December 29, 2014

A short stroll in Infrared

Now that it's post Christmas, we are in stay at home mode until the road madness subsides. This morning it was a short stroll down town before the temperature rises too much. I find it hard to photograph my own stomping ground; everything is so familiar. So, this morning, I took the infrared camera in the hope that a different wavelength might provide some inspiration. Nothing awe inspiring here, just a rather different type of holiday snap.
On our street - white leaves against dark sky

My favourite cafe 

Pearson Park looking toward Mt Oxford

Memorial - Pearson Park

Path in Pearson Park - looks like snow (it isn't)

Maggie Pie taking flight

Across the cricket field to Mt Oxford

Looking East from Pearson Park

I like the way that foliage fluoresces almost white with infrared, while clear sky is almost devoid of IR and turns nearly black. The middle of a sunny day isn't the best time for ordinary photography but it is a great  time for IR.

Monday, December 1, 2014


Usually I download an app to my phone, only to find a few weeks later that I never use it and it ends up being deleted. Some apps like Feedly wheedle themselves into your daily life. But rarely does an app become more and more useful as time goes on. Such an app is Scanbot.

For the last couple of years I have been going paperless, scanning most documents I receive on a flat-bed scanner and dumping the paper. It’s worth it to save collecting boxes of receipts, warranties and bills but it’s a tedious process, especially if I let the paperwork back up for a few weeks.

Then I found Scanbot - Android (free), iOS (paid). Here’s the deal; put your document on a flat surface, hold your phone over the document, pause and the document is ‘scanned’ - actually photographed, squared off, trimmed and saved as a PDF. Multi-page documents are no problem and get combined into a multi-page PDF. Super easy and I can scan documents as they arrive and immediately bin the paper. Scanned documents are automatically uploaded to my Dropbox account (other cloud services are supported).

Then I found another use. Turning the hundreds of old family photos into digital. My digital photo library started in 2001. Before that it is folders of printed photos collected over a few decades of camera toting family life. I didn’t have very high hopes but scanbot, combined with my phone’s 13Mp camera, does a wonderful job of turning the prints into reasonable digital images. Colours are true and, while you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, a few tweaks in Lightroom can often improve on the quality of original print.

The results are perfectly usable for online use and for reprinting at the original size. I probably wouldn’t print larger, but this was from a wallet sized print taken in 1982:

Monday, October 13, 2014

Keeping it simple

Today we did 'simple' - as in taking delight in small blessings; like a drive to New Brighton, lunch at the pier and a short walk on the beach with my lady. There is a certain purity about a spring day, a soft salty breeze and the sound of surf gently breaking on the beach, that erases (temporarily, anyway) the weightier and more intractable obstacles to life. After that we put the car through a car-wash, so we all came home feeling a little fresher than when we set out.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Make like paint

Occasionally I like to make my photographs look a little less photographic and a little more drawn or painted. Over the years I have tried a lot of software to accomplish this with varying degrees of success and lack of. This last few days have been a concerted effort to find which software could produce the best results.

I had previously tried Virtual Painter 5 (now no longer available), Corel Painter (now only available as part of  a $600 package) and a few others that escape my memory (i.e. not memorable - literally).

This time I looked at four packages. I excluded anything costing over $100 as being too expensive for the use I would make of it and ended up looking at:
FotoSketcher (free),
GMX photo Painter (about $50),
Dynamic Auto Painter ($100) and
Snap Art 4 ($100).

First the exclusions;
Dynamic Auto Painter has a lot of people rooting for it. I didn't like the results. I really tried with this software, processing my test picture through about a dozen filters and post processing steps. The results were unconvincing. I also didn't like the way it messed with the colours. While there were detailed differences between the filters, the overall effect was sameness and a lack of differentiation. It’s also an overly complex program to come to grips with. Big fail.

GMX photo painter was much better. There are heaps of controls and, with some effort, good results could be obtained. But to get good results does require a lot of trial and error and patient work with a stylus. Don’t even think of using this program with a mouse! I liked this program a lot and if cost is an important factor then its a reasonable pick despite one or two little niggles (like the painting not going all the way to the top and left edges of the picture). I only really excluded this program because my final choice was just so much better. A free trial is available if you want to give it a try.

I’m keeping two of the programs:
FotoSketcher is brilliant for a free program. It doesn't have as many filters as some of the other programs but what it does have are very flexible. I found the best way to use this program was to produce a few JPGs with different settings and to combine the layers in Photoshop to produce the finished piece. In fact this is the strategy that I use with both my keepers. If you just want to play around and produce some reasonably impressive results then download FotoSketcher and give it a go.

My best keeper was Snap Art 4 from Alien Skin. It’s the easiest program of the four to learn and the results it produces from a single pass are truly impressive. However, produce separate layers for underpainting, body and details to combine in Photoshop and the results really surpass anything else I have ever tried. If you don’t have Photoshop then you can mask different setting from within Snap Art but I simply find using Photoshop easier. This program is a wonderful blend of power and ease of use. It also works as a stand alone program and as a plugin for photoshop, lightroom and other  graphics programs.

Here are my two test pictures (original photos from processed in Snap Art 4 and Photoshop (view full size):

Monday, September 22, 2014

Deep breaths, people

So, it's all over for another three years. We didn't get the government I would have liked, but we also didn't get the government I feared. What we did get was the government best equipped to run the country. Confused?

I would have preferred a competent government with compassionate social policies that could have carried this country forward to a better future for all its citizens. In some people's eyes that would make me a centrist or perhaps a centre-left voter. Unfortunately there wasn't a choice of voting in any leftward direction at this election. The left were united in only one thing - getting rid of John Key. There was absolutely no evidence that having achieved that goal there was any competency to run a country - the bickering and infighting that would have resulted would have paralysed New Zealand for the next three years (if they had lasted that long). New Zealanders didn't vote 'right' so much as they voted for stability - absolutely in line with the New Zealand psychi in my view.

As well as no demonstrable evidence that the left had any cohesiveness, or ability to manage NZ Inc. there was the spectre of Dotcom being behind at least a part of any government. As Dotcom admitted himself afterwards, the Dotcom brand had become 'poisoned'. I think it's a shame that we lost Hone Harawira in the process - I didn't often agree with him but he was a good voice to have in parliament. Shame.

Which brings me to the brokenness of our party political system. Elections should be about policies and the direction the country is headed in. This election had very little about policy; it was about getting elected and stopping other people getting elected - by fair means or foul. The policy debate, as little as there was, was lost in the noise of the bar-brawl. Indeed the little policy there was could have well been characterised as a series of election bribes (from both sides). I think it's time we demanded better of our politicians.

How about each political party being required to publish a couple of statutory documents three months out from an election. The first document is a brief ‘Vision’ document of where they would like to see New Zealand in 25 years time. Let’s set a word limit on that to discourage waffle and political BS. The second document should be the party’s 10 year business plan for NZ Inc., spelling out how they intend to move towards their vision. If we had those two documents we might have a chance of knowing what we were voting for every three years.

Of course coalitions would require compromises but an incoming coalition government  would need to identify which policies from each coalition partner were going to be pursued and publish a revised business plan and vision at the beginning of their term. It’s about transparency of intent and accountability of action. We, the people of New Zealand, need to know clearly what our politicians are going to do when we elect them and to be able to hold them accountable for their actions while in government.

Maybe there are other and better ways to achieve transparency and accountability but it seems to me that requiring our politicians to be clear about what they intend, provides a good basis for both.

Monday, June 30, 2014

A weekend of Hobbits

Ballerina Hobbit had a fourth birthday party this weekend and hobbits from all over the Shire descended upon Hobbiton.  Considering how quickly hobbit gatherings can get rather unruly, this one was very well behaved – the castle was not demolished and most of the food was eaten rather than thrown. And yet the hobbits seemed to totally enjoy themselves and the big people found time to relax, chat and enjoy the day.

Two of the hobbits were still here on Monday morning when I awoke bleary-eyed and paddled into the living room in my dressing gown. “Gandad, Gandad,” the smallest one cried, tugging at my beard for attention. “Yes, little one?” I managed, wondering why hobbits seem so bright so early. “And its not ‘Gandad’; it’s ‘Gandalf’ if you please.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Pebble power

To be honest, I’ve been a bit of a “wearables” sceptic. I gave up wearing a watch about ten years ago – a sort of two finger salute to being driven by the mechanics of time. So, when wearable computing started to be ‘the next big thing,’ I was like, “nah, don’t need it”. But then I got a “Pebble” smart watch to try out and I realised that I have needed one for quite a while.
I have two use cases for this wearable – when I am at home and when I am in the car. At home I seldom have my phone on my person – I usually leave it someplace and then fail to hear it when I get a call, message, email etc. When driving, I want to know whether the call is worth pulling over to respond too without fumbling in my case or pocket for the phone. The Pebble addresses both these needs and, in addition, becomes a general first-line interface for the phone, meaning that I pull out the phone to check it far less often.

The phone talks to the Pebble via Bluetooth (in my case, Bt v4 on the Pebble and Bt v3 on the phone). The connection seems rock solid, and reconnects seamlessly when the Pebble has been out of range from the phone.

Out the box, the Pebble has only basic functionality and I quickly added two key apps – “Notification Center” which replaces the Pebble’s limited notifications with any notification that the phone and its apps are able to generate. And secondly “Wristponder” a $2 app that can send canned SMS messages from the Pebble (useful in meetings or when driving). Both these apps have an Android component that lives on the phone. A third app “Pebblets” provides a calendar, calculator, timer, weather, stocks, and RSS feeds and lives solely on the phone.

Being the size of a watch it has a very limited interface but enough to read short email messages, texts and check the weather. The canned messages feature of “Wristponder” is brilliant for acknowledging texts or providing limited information like “running late be there soon” without having to stop to type the message on the phone.

Pebble works with iOS and Android devices (but not Windows Phone or BlackBerry) and costs US$150 in its basic form (shown above) and US$250 for the ‘Pebble Steel’ version. If you thought that Pebbles were for skimming across the pond or providing interest at the bottom of a fish tank, then this Pebble might make you think again.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Living the dream

When I started this blog in 2011, I used (and still do) the tagline "A rather indirect ramble through the aft end of life". However that's not been strictly true; in the last four years the blog has mainly been about my ramble in relation to photography and picture making. Yes, making pictures is a big part of my life - there are three cameras within arm’s reach (not including my phone) even as I write this - but there is more to this ramble than pictures. To be honest, I've been a little afraid. There are other dimensions to this back end of life ramble, but they tend to be more personal, more about the vulnerable 'me', the 'me' that would feel safer if it remained in the background. Those other dimensions might also be of no interest to others and bringing them up might only confirm that I have just become another 'boring old fart'.
Yet, unless I flesh things out a little more, the record of the ramble will be missing all the peripheral aspects that inform and motivate even my picture making. Life is so much more than a series of stationary images; what fills the gaps between? If the pictures are the 'what' everything in between becomes the 'why'. So, from here on, I'll still be posting the pictures but I'll try, when I am aware, to talk about the 'why' of things too, starting with this ...
Back in 2008 I turned 60. At the time I wrote “Sixteen or sixty” an upbeat reflection on why I was making pictures again:
Sixteen or sixty?  Say both words with less than perfect enunciation and they can be mistaken for each other.  And if, in my sixtieth year, I look at my life from the corner of one eye, I can almost believe that I am sixteen again.
“At sixteen my passion was photography. It was a passion played out on a budget, with cobbled together darkroom equipment in a bedroom blacked out with plastic sheets and prints rinsing in the bath.  It was a passion that I wanted to be a profession.  Perhaps I didn't want it bad enough but, in 1964, no one wanted an apprentice photographer and so I became a draughtsman in the construction industry and, eventually, migrated to the IT business. It paid the bills and served me well. “Somewhere along the road I married and, with the advent of a family, I lost the darkroom. As the family grew, my camera bags began to shrink and, as the equipment and spare time shrunk, so did my passion for the art of photography.  Then, around 1998, I laid hands on my first digital camera.  After a thirty-four year downward slide a ten year climb back started and now, in my sixtieth year, I am producing pictures again - perhaps not great pictures but good enough to be much better than those from 1964.
“In his "Last Lecture", Randy Pouche talked a lot about realising one's childhood dreams. He realised a lot of his before he died and he helped a lot of other people realise theirs.  And the point is this - its never too late - my dream may have had to wait for more than forty years, but it feels like I am sixteen again and loving it.
Back in 2008 life seemed to be all glitter and endless possibilities...
to be continued ...

Friday, May 30, 2014

Shown in NY

It's an odd world - when the email arrived saying that my work was to be included in a New York exhibition at the “Soho Arthouse,” I thought “Yea, right” (seen too many Tui ads) – “I’ll believe that when I see it”. It seemed little different from those emails stating that I had won a gazillion dollars in a lottery that I had never entered.
Then, later I saw this blog post on the two-day exhibition - announcing the launch of a new art website called “Crated” - and there it was, “Akoroa by night” in this picture (far left).
So, my inner sceptic, having been silenced, I guess I can add "exhibited in New York" to my CV. Yes, it's definitely an odd world.

Sunday, May 18, 2014


“Dog Kennel Corner”, the sign said. Another said “Lake Benmore Haldon Arm”; always a sucker for a lake, I took the turn. I didn’t know the area and I didn’t have a map, but the road was good and stretched invitingly into the Mackenzie District’s distance (Google Street View:,170.563848,3a,75y,221.31h,84.61t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sMmcNMazOtvnApVAQQHriew!2e0?hl=en)

I drove, for what seemed like a long distance through the rugged Mackenzie. Actually it was about 20km, twisting and turning over one-lane bridges, spanning a variety of creeks, and getting deeper into the tussock covered wilderness. I wasn’t worried, but saw no other vehicles and it did cross my mind that this would be an unfortunate place for my little Suzuki (affectionately known as “Camera Bag”) to break down. Then the tar seal stopped and the gravel began. Perhaps ‘gravel’ is too kind; it was more hard-packed earth with an occasional sprinkling of stone. But hey, I had already come a long way and somewhere down here was a lake. I drove on.

Gradually, kilometre after kilometre, the road got narrower and rougher. I passed the occasional sheep station and stock yards and once saw a farmer in a ute. Somewhere, around the 40 kilometre mark, I really did begin to wonder if I was doing the smart thing, but consoled myself with the thought that Camera Bag’s other nickname was “Mountain Goat”, and pressed on.

50 kilometres and the road was a two wheel-track through the tussock. I was conflicted; by the thought that this might be an incredibly stupid thing to be doing (at my age) and a stubborn determination not to be beaten; either by the landscape or my own fear of the unknown. Determination won.

Finally the track took a sharp turn and a dive down into a large cluster of trees. I had arrived at a beautiful, secluded camp site on the edge of Lake Benmore. The summer campers had long gone and in late autumn the place’s only inhabitants were the golden trees and the multitude of birds that had reclaimed their home.

After the mild anxiety of the drive, the place was heavy with a tangible peacefulness and I stayed a while to soak it in. Strangely, I didn’t take pictures there that day, except as a matter of record – this is where the road ends:

Another of life's little metaphors, perhaps.

Friday, May 16, 2014

One simple trick

Last weekend I was taking some photographs at the observatory on top of Mt. John. I don’t normally watch other photographers but it was hard not to in such a popular scenic spot. Over the course of a couple of hours I became aware of one repeated behaviour: get out of car, walk to the edge of the car park, hold camera in front of face, take picture.

I saw no exceptions to this behaviour. It didn’t matter whether the camera was a cell phone, a compact or a big DSLR; one photographer even set up his tripod at the edge of the car park, adjusted it to face height and took his picture. I wish I had the foresight to take such a picture, so that you could see what it would include, but that only occurred to me later after I had left. Magnificent vista that it was, their pictures would have included a mountainous background with a valley lake in the middleground and NO FOREGROUND.

As humans, we experience all such views from the foreground - even if our focus is on the distance. The foreground is where we stand, it fills our peripheral vision and provides context for the rest of the scene. When you see a picture without a foreground, it doesn’t capture the experience of actually being there, and we end up feeling disappointed that the picture doesn’t reflect the moment. Unfortunately cameras don’t have peripheral vision – what’s in the viewfinder is all you get so you, the photographer, need to introduce some foreground into the scene.

Ten paces away from the car park edge there is an interesting rock. Down on one knee, rock in the frame and the picture has what it needs – foreground context, strong middle ground, and magnificent background. It’s that easy.

So that’s my one tip for your vacation landscapes; don’t just do what everyone else does by standing there and clicking into the distance – just change your position, bend a little if you have to, and include some foreground interest in the scene. That’s not a rule by the way – not every picture has to have foreground - but most landscapes will benefit from its inclusion.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Getting what you want

Mt Oxford, Canon A590 IR, 1/220 sec, f5.6, ISO 80 (8 frames)

Usually, when I set out to capture a particular picture, I come back with something quite different; either because circumstances prevented the intended picture or because I get distracted by something better. Today I came back with what I wanted - a picture of Mt Oxford taken from the township - in infrared.

This picture just wouldn't work in a normal photo; the tones would all be too similar and would merge into a mass of green-brown sameness. In IR it's a totally different story, with the trees fluorescing brilliantly against the hills and sky.  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

More on the infrared front

Today the sun shone. Not a big deal, except for the fact that we hadn't seen the orb for about three weeks (how very British of us) and that last Tuesday, my camera came back from the States having had an infrared (IR) conversion and I was itching to try it out in sunny conditions.

IR photography captures the world as we can’t normally see it. Clear skies, water, roads and many other things reflect very little IR while clouds and foliage, including grass, reflect a lot and glow with ghostly IR brightness. IR cameras capture the IR wavelengths in the same way that a normal camera captures visible light so we can process the camera data in exactly the same way; making the invisible, visible.

A trip to the gorge bridge and a quick walk around town produced the following results (presented here in soft pink and deep blue hues):
The Waimakariri Gorge bridge

Back road

The new town clock

Pearson Park playground

I was shooting at f8 with ISO 80 and getting exposure times of between 1/40 and 1/60 second. About one stop less than for visible light. All the metering and auto focusing worked fine and it was just like shooting with a normal camera.

The camera was an old Canon A590 IS which had sat in a draw unused for a few years. The conversion was done by a company called Kolari Vision ( and, while the postal services took their usual time, Kolari Vision turned it around within 4 days (including a weekend) and did a top-notch job.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Oh, Feedly, Feedly ...

... so much promise, so much disappointment.

When Google shuttered “Reader”, it was Feedly that came riding to our aid. We cheered as our liberator rode into town – the news feed famine was averted. Alas, our former saviour has become a right pain in the proverbial. It has, I fear, lost its way.

Who’s idea was it to split the feed into bite sized chunks? Now I never know when I am really done reading. “Done” Feedly says, and then refreshes to show more items. “Done” again; but no, there are more items and then another “Done”. Some mornings I have to go through ten occurrences of “Done” before I am really “All read” done. It’s impossible to know whether I have enough time to read the remaining articles or not because “Done” doesn’t mean “Done” any more. Dumb.

If that wasn’t frustrating enough, for the last week Feedly has been delivering the same four articles at the end of every “Done”. I have read them; honest I have. But no, up they pop again. They aren’t on Feedly cloud, but they are on my Android device and they won’t go away.

So, Feedly, it’s time you left. Yes, I know; I am old and cranky but I’m not going to let you make me crankier than I need be. Did I mention FeedEx? She’s cute.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tears and laughter

It’s been an unexpectedly emotional three days. Two events caused, in turn, a shed tear or two and secondly very large grin. Both were initiated by National Radio.

On Tuesday Geoff Robinson retired. Geoff has been a passenger in my car every work-day for the last 20 years. He presented National Radio’s “Morning Report” programme and was the voice of sanity in a frequently insane world. It was Geoff that told me about the 9/11 attack on New York; I remember; we were half way along the Tram Road at the time.

I hadn’t realised how attached I had become but, knowing it was his last day, brought tears of sadness to my eyes. I will miss an old friend who never knew me.

National Radio was playing again today as I drove back from the hospital. Jim Mora decided to play Monty Python’s, “Always look on the bright side of life”. Did that make me smile, or what! There’s one verse that I must try to remember:

If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing
When you're feeling in the dumps
Don't be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle
- that's the thing.

Rain and sun; tears and laughter... "There ya go, see!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Infra-red (IR) revisited

The last time I tried Infra-red (IR) photography I was using a Nikon D80 and the results were not very good. Exposure times were around 30 seconds and the lenses in my kit at that time didn't play nice with IR and made all sorts of 'hot spots' in the picture. The post processing tools I had available were also not very flexible.

Fast forward a couple of years and I realised that I hadn't tried IR with the D600, current lenses and processing tools. I didn't have high expectations, but was delighted with what I found:

Nikon D600, Nikkor 18-35mm D* lens, Cokin 720nm IR filter, 3sec, f8, ISO800. Processed in Lightroom and Photoshop CC.

Notice the white dot (center top)? That's a daytime moon, mid-day with lots of sun - only with IR. So, all in all and for an unconverted, non-IR camera, the D600 does a pretty good job and the 18-35 D makes a reasonable IR lens (it even has the focus adjustment marks for IR).

Note: I have no idea how the latest 18-35mm *G* lens performs - it is totally different from the *D* being used here and has no IR markings.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Gary Fong Lightsphere

When asked to photograph the opening of our latest exhibition, particularly the procession and karakia, I was worried about how to light it. The room was large (though helpfully white) and the lighting in the room would be subdued (only small spots lighting the work). So, how was I going to get a reasonably even light across the room?

I thought about installing multiple speedlights around the room, but wanted to be mobile as the action could be anywhere. In the end I opted for an on-camera flash fitted with a Gary Fong Lightsphere. I used the sphere without its dome and angled slightly forward (about 30 degrees from vertical) with the (SB700) flash unit set to as broad a beam as possible (see below).

The camera was set to manual at about -2ev from ambient and the flash on TTL. A couple of test shots gave me a little more confidence that this arrangement would deliver the goods, and so it proved:

This was one of the first shots and there was sufficient output from the Lightsphere that I even had to burn down the glare on the white plinth in the mid-ground. What nice even lighting it produced and it even managed to overpower the warm spots (still visible in the far room where the lightsphere couldn't reach. All in all, I am very pleased with the Lightsphere for this type of event photography. Recommended.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Strange requests, bad weather and forgotten keys

Requests to take portraits, photograph homes, golf courses or even bees, are pretty ordinary but today’s request was less run-of-the-mill; can you photograph my lichen? Not knowing exactly what to expect, I packed everything I could think I might need and set out. The day was a bit dodgy, hail showers and stormy winds, so I even packed a brolly – to keep my gear dry.

When I arrived it was indeed plain, ordinary, lichen growing on a log of wood and having a party in the last few days of autumnal wetness. Now I could have offered the lady some previous pictures of lichen which were somewhere on my hard drive at home, but this was her lichen, growing outside her window and therefore somewhat special. And so I spent several minutes on my hands and knees getting a bit damp while pointing the Tokina 100mm Macro at various patches of exuberant lichen.

During the process I realised that there was one item I had not brought with me; an Allen key. For today, my quick release plate decided to part company with my ball head. Macro shots with a wobbly camera – not a great idea. Nevertheless, with a little bit of perseverance and some wonderful new tripod contortions we got the shots and headed home.

Personally, lichen is not my favourite macro subject – even when it is partying it is a little boring. But having spent some time with the files this afternoon, I am beginning to see a giant lichen forest with little people running through it; with Photoshop anything is possible. Maybe I’ll get some more suitable lichen shots, when the weather gets better.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Is that HDR?

Is that HDR? I hate that question. I hate it because (a) it’s irrelevant and (b) it can’t be answered without lying - if I said “yes” it would be a lie. If I said “no” it would still be a lie. There’s a third reason too - (c) usually its a loaded question, preceding an attempt to invalidate the picture as a photograph. Well, duh, its not a photograph; its a picture - cameras take photographs; I make pictures (out of photographs).
But let’s get back to the lying thing. “No” its not HDR (High Dynamic Range) because it was an overcast day and my camera could capture everything necessary in one exposure (and did). However, I did take a series of exposures using a technique called “exposure bracketing”. The picture you were looking at (previous post) came from combining two or more of those exposures using both tone mapping and exposure blending so, if that’s what you think of as HDR, then your answer is “yes” (but it's still not an HDR picture).
But, it gets even more confusing: I also produced a picture that, to the casual observer,  looks almost identical to the one accused of being HDR - similar tonalities, similar contrast, similar details. It was made using only Lightroom and only one exposure - in other words it used none of the features of the so-called HDR process yet, because of its look, it would have undoubtedly invoked exactly the same question - is that HDR? In this case I could have answered “no” with an absolutely clear conscience.
Definitely NOT an HDR:produced from a single exposure processed only in Lightroom:

The picture in the previous post is also not HDR but was created from multiple exposures, tone mapped and blended - some people incorrectly call that HDR.
Let's stop what has always been an irrelevant debate around the misuse of the term “HDR”. It’s a style thing; you either like a picture or you don’t, the HDR question is an irrelevance which makes the questioner sound amateurish and ignorant.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Waimakariri Gorge Bridge

Perhaps because it is so close, this bridge has become a favourite spot for testing new photographic gear or new processing techniques. I like this bridge. So, on the first day of the new year I took a trip back to the bridge under a rather overcast sky. Much of the river-bed downstream was covered with the vehicles of boaties and fishermen so I stayed up high for this picture:
The bridge was built in 1876 and the two piers are 95ft and 115ft, made of cast iron and filled with concrete. For the first 60 years of its life it carried the rail line between Oxford and Shefield but, in the 1930s the line was closed and the bridge converted to a single-lane road bridge which it has remained to this day.