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What is HDR Photography

May 14, 2011
By Fine Art Photography

HDR Photography is a set of techniques that allow a greater dynamic range of luminance between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than current standard digital imaging techniques or photographic methods. This wide dynamic range allows HDR images to more accurately represent the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to faint starlight.

HDR is short for High Dynamic Range. It is a post-processing of taking either one image or a series of images, combining them, and adjusting the contrast ratios to do things that are virtually impossible with a single aperture and shutter speed. I would say that about 75% of my images use the technique, and if you are new to it, then you may notice a slightly different “look and feel” to my photographs. You should also probably note that HDR is a very broad categorization, and I really hate categorization. My process starts with using basic HDR techniques, but then there are many more steps to help the photos look more… let’s say… evocative.

I can talk a little bit more about the philosophy behind the photography style here for a quick moment. You might consider that the way the human brain keeps track of imagery is not the same way your computer keeps track of picture files. There is not one aperture, shutter speed, etc. In fact, sometimes when you are in a beautiful place or with special people and you take photos — have you ever noticed when you get back and show them to people you have to say, “Well, you really had to be there.” Even great photographers with amazing cameras can only very rarely grab the scene exactly as they saw it. Cameras, by their basic-machine-nature, are very good at capturing “images”, lines, shadows, shapes — but they are not good at capturing a scene the way the mind remembers and maps it. When you are actually there on the scene, your eye travels back and forth, letting in more light in some areas, less light in others, and you create a “patchwork-quilt” of the scene. Furthermore, you will tie in many emotions and feelings into the imagery as well, and those get associated right there beside the scene. Now, you will find that as you explore the HDR process, that photos can start to evoke those deep memories and emotions in a more tangible way. It’s really a wonderful way of “tricking” your brain into experiencing much more than a normal photograph.

I will post a few interesting HDR photographs that I have taken that people seem to like. This first image below is the first HDR photograph ever to hang in the Smithsonian Institution in D.C. I think this goes to show how mainstream and accepted HDR can be, if the technique is properly applied.

What is black and white photography

May 14, 2011
By Fine Art Photography

Monochrome photography is photography where the image produced has a single hue, rather than recording the colours of the object that was photographed. It includes all forms of black and white photography, which produce images containing tones of grey ranging from black to white

Here are some black and white photography tips

I know many readers of DPS can’t shoot in RAW (because their camera doesn’t offer it) or don’t shoot in RAW (because they either don’t know how or don’t like to) but for the most control in the post production phase of converting your color images into black and white ones – you’ll want to shoot in RAW if your camera does allow it. Of course shooting in JPEG doesn’t stop you shooting in black and white – but if it’s an option, give RAW a go, you might be surprised by what it offers you in post production.

If your camera doesn’t allow you to shoot in RAW (or you choose not to) – shoot in color and do your conversion to black and white later on your computer.

While most digital cameras offer you the option to shoot in Black and White (and can produce some reasonable results) you have more control over your end results if you have the color data to work with in your conversion on your computer.

Shoot with the lowest possible ISO possible. While this is something that most of us do in color photography it is particularly important when it comes to black and white where noise created by ISO can become even more obvious. If you’re aftMost of the general tips on how to compose or frame a good shot apply just as well to black and white photography as they do when shooting in color – however the main obvious difference is that you’re unable to use color to lead the eye into or around your shot. This means you need to train yourself to look at shapes, tones and textures in your frame as points of interest. Pay particularly attention to shadows and highlights which will become a feature of your shot.


What is Fine Art Photography

May 14, 2011
By Fine Art Photography

Fine art photography refers to photographs that are created in accordance with the creative vision of the photographer as artist. Fine art photography stands in contrast to photojournalism (which provides visual support for news stories, mainly in the print media) and commercial photography (the primary focus of which is to advertise products or services).

Fine art doesn’t have to follow the rules—it just has to be enjoyed by its viewers. It doesn’t necessarily need to be judged by the theories of art. Furthermore, not everyone will enjoy every piece of fine art. Indeed, many contemporary artists create works that may be considered terrible as far as the rules of art are concerned; and yet, these same works receive rave reviews by the so-called art critics. Fine art may even include works that are disturbing to look at. However, the success in these pieces is in the emotional response they evoke from the viewer.

Having established what fine art is we can define fine art photography as the subset of fine art that is created with a camera. There is a major difference between a snapshot and a photograph. A snapshot captures a moment in time; a photograph captures the emotions, feelings, and beauty from that moment in time. Although my personal preference is to create photographs that are thought to beautiful, it isn’t necessary that a photograph be beautiful in order to be considered as fine art photography.

A photograph does not need to represent reality. There are some who would argue that a fine art photograph actually allows others to see the world as though we were looking through the mind of the photographer. What we see with our eyes is not necessarily the same as what we see with our mind. I have frequently composed an image, snapped the shutter, and found that the result is not what I was “seeing” at the time. A photograph will look the same on paper as it did in the viewfinder.

Vision Light Gallery

January 26, 2011
By Fine Art Photography

Vision Light Gallery has created a Internet photo art marketplace where potential buyers and talented artists can conduct business. They provide a large, diverse, easy-to-access, growing portfolio of quality photographic artists and photo art, making Vision Light an important destination for individuals and professionals seeking to purchase photo art for their homes, businesses or art collections.

Because the photo art community is a cottage industry, it is difficult for art buyers to find all but the most popular artists. Likewise, photo artists find it difficult to connect with interested buyers. That is where Vision Light can help. Vision Light is constantly adding artists offering a highly diverse set of photo art. They seek out undiscovered talent and established photo artists alike. Vision Light is also investing in web awareness and communication programs to build buyer awareness.

If you are looking for Black and White Pictures, this is the place to go

Link to Vision Light

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