Open for Business

Open for Business

Continuing the theme from the last post, today’s post is another High Dynamic Range (HDR) image. This one is true HDR, with three bracketed exposures shot with my Canon 5D Mark III.

As I write this, I cannot exactly remember which restaurant is depicted. I was walking along a pier near the marina in Monterey — if you know the area, it’s over near the Portola Plaza.

I set up the camera with the idea in mind that I would deliberately shoot HDR, just to see what would happen. 

If you read my last post, you know that I’m somewhat new to the world of high dynamic range photography. In fact, this was my first-ever attempt to shoot people. (Another HDR-of-People photo, taken a few minutes later, will be the subject of a later post.)

I waited for quite a long time, because there was a woman sitting right in front of where the guys were in the window, and I was hoping she’d leave to give me a cleaner shot. In addition, everyone inside was moving so fast, I figured it wasn’t going to work, and so I was also trying to wait for a time when they’d be stopped and involved in something.

Suddenly, one of the guys spots me, and gives me the “thumbs up” sign. I knew I had to shoot right then, because with him stopping to do that, he also blocked the guy behind him, causing them both to be still long enough to get a decent shot. Even so, I had to do some “selective de-ghosting” with Photomatix to get this image. I left the rest of the people as I found them; i.e., with the ghosting. I like the way that shows the frenetic movement in the kitchen area to the right.

And the woman in front?

I just removed her. In Photoshop, of course. Don’t go looking for her at the bottom of the bay. She’s not there.

The HDR was done with three separate exposures — one normal, one under-exposed, and one over-exposed — none of which fired off for very long. The “properly-exposed,” or “normal,” image was shot at 1/80th of a second, f/9.0, ISO 4000, with my Canon EF70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM lens at 75 mm, and (of course) no exposure bias; the under-exposed image was the same, except that it had a -3 EV, or 1/640th of a second, exposure; the over-exposed shot was the same, except that it had a 3 EV, or 1/10th of a second, exposure. All were tone-mapped using Photomatix, then pulled into Photoshop for some “secret ingredient” tweaks, including fixing a little barrel distortion, plus the removal of the woman patron, as noted above. The part of the table she was blocking was rebuilt using areas of the table she was not blocking.

And there you have it.

Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments section below!

Comments