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MLK Falls HDR

By PatrickSmith  
My computer spontaineously rebooted itself once again today so I may not have much EPZ time today. I am getting a new computer. I'm getting shaky already...

This memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. in San Francisco features text from some of his speeches along with roaring falls and misty spray. You can go to the right behind the falls to read text in several different languages. My ears were ringing after standing here for about 15 minutes. There was a dramatic red sunset behind the camera, which helped warm up the light in this scene. And warm spotlights added good tones to the falls.

Martin Luther King Jr. made a major contribution to race relations in the US that can not be understated. Before his time, racial segregation was common in schools, transportation, drinking fountians, etc. This is no longer the case, though much work needs to be done before everyone is truly colour-blind.

I am now convinced that HDR is the way to go when it comes to indoor and city photography. Grads are useless here with the jagged 'horizon', and the contrast is extreme. Any single exposure viewed alone is quite unattractive.

You still need to wait for those few minutes at dusk where the natural light and artificial light are even for the best results. It is amazing how close this is to what I saw with my eyes. The sun set behind me and there was a walkway overhead, making the foreground granite darker than the brighter buildings and sky.

Make sure that the brightest areas of the shortest exposure look good, and that the darkest areas of the longest exposure look good.

5 exposures ranging from 20-210 seconds HDR tone mapped

Tags: General Architecture Hdr Martin King San Francisco Luther

Voters: big fella, MediumSizeUnavailable, Carabosse and 166 more

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Comments


JouŠo 17 56 Finland
5 Feb 2007 3:16PM
Haa! FIRST ; )

Way much better, than your first HDR, Patrick, if I dare to say so...???







....though I know nothing about HDR thingy!

Jouko
5 Feb 2007 3:21PM
Nice one, as usual,

Alan
PatrickSmith 16 1.2k 2 United States
5 Feb 2007 3:22PM
LOL Jouko, the bridge one or the reflection one?? Definitely try more HDR's. But you will have to choose high contrast situations where you want more detail in the darker areas. With all that snow, I'm not sure how HDR's will turn out.

Patrick
taggart Plus
16 47 14 United States
5 Feb 2007 3:22PM
A spectacular scene with the master's touch!

Well done, Jennnnnnnnn
Ade_Osman 18 4.5k 36 England
5 Feb 2007 3:27PM
Hmmmm.....Has the masters touch written all over it as Jenn says.....Excellent stuff as always Patrick!

Ade
AlanBW 15 20 England
5 Feb 2007 3:28PM
Wonderful composition and lighting
MikeBonsall 15 474 3 Guernsey
5 Feb 2007 3:29PM
much prefer this composition to the previous San Francisco HDR picture. Although I think I prefer the sky colour in the other one (there's no pleasing some peopleWink


Mike
TonyA 16 11 Spain
5 Feb 2007 3:30PM
Excellent image with great warm colors and the feel of the falling water. It's one of the rare situations were movement works in HDR.

Antonio
riprap007 16 1.6k 37 England
5 Feb 2007 3:31PM
well worth the effort to HDR, great punchy shot
sut68 17 2.0k 77 England
5 Feb 2007 3:31PM

Quote:You still need to wait for those few minutes at duck

... this is where I am probably going wrong, I keep waiting for DUSK ... LOL

Another fine piece of HDR Patrick, definitely comes into its own in this type of environment.

Paul
keithh 17 25.8k 33 Wallis And Futuna
5 Feb 2007 3:34PM
I'll be the fly in the ointment and say that although the HRD works...although it's a bit flat...compositionally it's a bit of a scrambled egg...at this size. I've no doubt that you can read the text at some size but not at 1000 pixels which leaves the image with no focal point.

Now I know the clan will pounce on me - but it's the truth as I see it.
Hanners 15 875 10 Ireland
5 Feb 2007 3:35PM
This is just soooo bloody good, The HDR works superbly well here, that's because it has been done in the proper manner. The timing of the shot is perfect to get the wonderful balance in the natural and artificial light. A cracking shot Patrick with a very informative script too.


CLIX
NorthernEdge 15 535 England
5 Feb 2007 3:40PM
Have to agree with keith on this one Patrick.

Wink
JouŠo 17 56 Finland
5 Feb 2007 3:41PM
Better??? The whole HDR thingy! It´s better! LOL.....HDR-Avanto would be a great success! LOL...

I have this one HDR thingy on my machine...It´s a shot of world´s BIGGEST WOODEN CHURCH, BUT for my eyes only! LOL......

Jouko
5 Feb 2007 3:41PM
love the spray, and effect with the lights

superb work !!
beautiful

NikkiSmile
PatrickSmith 16 1.2k 2 United States
5 Feb 2007 3:46PM
Thanks for your comments!

Jennnn and Ade, I don't know if I can live up to that one.....

Mike I know what you mean. This was a little earlier than the last one so the sky was a brighter blue here. As it got darker, the contrast was going up because the lights were starting to overpower the scene. So a darker sky could not be had here.

Yes, Tony. And it does work well with longer exposures. Sometimes the water is not quite as smooth as in one exposure though.

LOL - Paul. Oops, I let out one of my little secrets of long expoasure shooting. But I've made the correction so that nobody else will know!

Yes Keith, the text is supposed to be the focal point. You can see it it the full sized version but not here. And the text is totally blown out in all but the shorest exposure. So HDR really did the job. 'the clan?' Oh, the irony!

Thanks Tony.

Patrick
mpnuttall 14 91 6 United Kingdom
5 Feb 2007 3:51PM
I'm almost too jealous to comment.

Fantastic tonal range that totally justifies the use of HDR. I'm trying to achieve a similar effect manually in PS with multiple exposures but this image really makes you realise what can be achieved.

Love it.

Mark
Kim Walton 17 145 30 United Kingdom
5 Feb 2007 3:56PM
"I am now convinced that HDR is the way to go when it comes to indoor and city photography. Grads are useless here with the jagged 'horizon', and the contrast is extreme. Any single exposure viewed alone is quite unattractive."

Valid point,like the quality of the image---if not the composition.
thorn 16 124 2 Scotland
5 Feb 2007 3:56PM
Hi Patrick,
I love the tones,reflections,motion,timing and the hdr thingy.I like how you can see what must be the MLK information behind the waterfall,ok i can't make it out,but it lets me see what you are telling us about in your description,i'll never be over to see it,so thankyou.Excellent image.
Take care.AnnSmile
BURNBLUE Plus
15 13 1 United Kingdom
5 Feb 2007 4:00PM
Like this Patrick, nice look to the water, also with HDR and long exposures you tend to get more than normal noise, you have managed to avoid this.

Simon.
PatrickSmith 16 1.2k 2 United States
5 Feb 2007 4:01PM
Thanks for your comments!

Mark, sometimes the 'multiple exposures from one original' technique works. Especially on shots where there is just a little too much contrast. I'll show a perfect example of that next time.

Glad you agree Kim.

C'mon out Ann. You must see this place!

Yes Simon. I have noticed extra noise on some of my attempts. It usually goes away when I desaturate the original RAW files and create TIFF's from them before I bring them into PhotoMatix.

Patrick
Maddie 16 2.7k 2 United Kingdom
5 Feb 2007 4:14PM
all too technical for me, one day!!
phototime 15 8 United Kingdom
5 Feb 2007 4:28PM
Too technical for me too,excellent work here Patrick a wonderful image love it.


Mo.
LisaRose 14 172 4 United States
5 Feb 2007 4:29PM
I love the gold lighting, especially the way it hits in the f/g. This is so pleasing to look at, and for me that's all that really matters. Wink

Lisa
martinl 17 269 2 United Kingdom
5 Feb 2007 4:36PM
As you say, HDR for this type of environment will be the exact tool for the job. This does show off what HDR can do so very well. It would be interesting for you have posted your "best" single shot for comparison.

Compositionally, perhaps this is not your best (I would still be over the moon if it was mine!), but you have set such high standards. Not sure about the waterfall just coming in from space.

But as a vehicle for HDR - perfect.

Martin
Maiwand 14 3 73 England
5 Feb 2007 4:39PM
Most of the above comments are way outside my sphere (not difficult some might say )I just think its a great shot.

Ron
Phil_Morgan 14 182 1 Wales
5 Feb 2007 4:42PM
Have an RC on me Mr Smith.

Phil.
martinw 15 251 England
5 Feb 2007 4:49PM
Have to agree with the comments about the composition, but the execution is flawless IMO as usual.
Martin
Chant57 Plus
15 395 3 United Kingdom
5 Feb 2007 4:49PM
Another beauty Patrick.
C
jimPat 16 8 1 Scotland
5 Feb 2007 4:49PM
Great shot - impressive portfolio - JP
PatrickSmith 16 1.2k 2 United States
5 Feb 2007 4:54PM
Thanks for looking!

One day soon I think Maddie at the rate you're going!

It is not too difficult Mo, though it does take practise.

Thanks Lisa. I like the lighting too.

Martinl, there really was not a 'best single shot' They ranged from 'almost all parts black' to 'almost all parts blown out.' The middle one shows blown out buildings, falls and sky and very dark rock in front. Even that one has only small bits properly exposed.

(both Martins - lol) I will be searching for city compositions with more open space if I can find them. It is very dense in there.

Patrick
arnieg 16 704 England
5 Feb 2007 4:54PM
excellent work patrick good lighting
arnie
jaktis Plus
17 84 Sweden
5 Feb 2007 4:55PM
Great lovely colours.
P.S. HDR and snow is tricky on the other side is snow always tricky

Peter
5 Feb 2007 4:59PM
..............perfecton in everyway..getting to be the Master of the HDR images.....bravo my friend...

alex
sunshot 16 24 United Kingdom
5 Feb 2007 5:36PM
patrick this is one awesome piece of photography, well done.
Kris_Dutson 18 8.2k 1 England
5 Feb 2007 5:44PM
As Keith says it lacks a focal point but the HDR has worked well for the exposure.

Still, at least you're having a crack at HDR, I'm still plugging away with grads...

...for the moment anyway. Wink
paulstefan 16 509 1 United Kingdom
5 Feb 2007 5:48PM
Technically a good example of what HDR can do but I have to agree with a few of the comments on composition, Patrick.
You're lucky to have such a great city to practice on though Smile
Cheers, Paul
tepot 16 4.4k United Kingdom
5 Feb 2007 6:08PM
Pity you didn't get a few clouds in the sky, loads of detail though and a pretty overall light.
alyismad 15 9 Wales
5 Feb 2007 6:12PM
Just perfect

Steve
PatrickSmith 16 1.2k 2 United States
5 Feb 2007 6:14PM
Thanks for looking!

Kris and Paul, too bad you could not see the full sized version. Then the text would jump out at you.

Paul, it is a great 3D city with lots of angles, but packed with people. And no 700 year old Cathedrals either!

LOL Terry, show me some decent clouds and I'll shoot them! We may get a little rain later this week though. I'm hoping for the best.

Patrick
JouŠo 17 56 Finland
5 Feb 2007 6:28PM
Hope it isn´t new Lovsan worm!??

I remember, when that d¤%¤ worm settled to my computer! Rebooted many times a day...

Jouko
cameragirl 16 43 United Kingdom
5 Feb 2007 6:35PM
Great composition Patrick! Hope the computer doesn't get too temperamental!
tull 17 181 United Kingdom
5 Feb 2007 6:39PM
Awesome capture Patrick wonderful use of shutter speed with excellent colours and light.

Mark.
MarkT 16 119 2 England
5 Feb 2007 6:46PM
Still haven't got around to trying this HDR process, but like you said it's the way to go for this type of shot. Superb image btw.

Mark.
Lovely Patrick !! excellent lighting.
Bert
AngelaR 16 155 United Kingdom
5 Feb 2007 7:04PM
Fabulous lighting Patrick - looks like you've cracked this system.
5 Feb 2007 7:45PM
This looks really good!
You are obviously getting the hang of this technique.
Excellent image.

Simon
GillyB 16 317 8 United Kingdom
5 Feb 2007 7:47PM
I agree with Angela and Simon...definately got the hang of this!

gill
stevebostock 15 244 England
5 Feb 2007 7:52PM
blown away here, great, great shot

steveb
PatrickSmith 16 1.2k 2 United States
5 Feb 2007 8:48PM
Thanks for looking!

I hope you are right Jouko!

Sandy (cameragirl), It has been good for the past 2 hours. So far so good...

Try it out Mark. You won't go back, in these sorts of circumstances.

Slowly but surely Angela, Gill and Simon...

Patrick
Nigel_95 Plus
15 262 2 United Kingdom
5 Feb 2007 8:50PM
I like the detail throughout this shot Patrick. As to HRT, with a few exceptions (and I regard this shot as one of the exceptions), I still feel many are tonally flat. I think I will wait a while before dipping my toe.

Nigel
chris-p Plus
15 75 England
5 Feb 2007 9:04PM
Always amazed at the quality and crispness of your pics..hdr has taken them to another level
Chris
Mounters 14 85 2 England
5 Feb 2007 9:50PM
Yet another amazing picture.
Buffalo_Tom Plus
14 2.3k 16 Wales
5 Feb 2007 10:01PM
Stunning light and exposure Patrick.Quality again.
Tom.
User_Removed 18 39 6 Scotland
5 Feb 2007 10:38PM
technique aside this is a very fitting image to a great man both in mood and overall colour.
Glostopcat 15 255 2 England
5 Feb 2007 10:57PM
Another outstanding image Patrick, excellent quality, colours and light
5 Feb 2007 11:16PM
This is jaw dropping, Patrick. It looks like you’re perfecting the art/process of HDR. My hat goes off to you.
I often read your comments in regards to the lifeless skies you have in California. I feel your pain with living here in Pennsylvania. What I wouldn’t give for the skies they get on the other side of the pond.

Eric
tripodted 15 32 1 Northern Ireland
5 Feb 2007 11:21PM
You have certianly got to grips with this HDR! Qualiy stuff.
Ted
6 Feb 2007 3:57AM
Hey Patrick. The HDR work make this image appear as if I am there, looking at it with my own eyes.
ChiliMan 14 135 17 Singapore
6 Feb 2007 5:32AM
Good grief...this is sublime, Patrick. You've not just captured the scene but the 'feel' too. Very transportey...

A Smile
chrissd 15 304 United Kingdom
6 Feb 2007 5:33AM
what a superb shot, looks like 2 shots in one, thats amazing
chris
debster 17 693 3 England
6 Feb 2007 9:21AM
Looks good to me Patrick Smile

Deb
6 Feb 2007 12:22PM
As usual Patrick, superb clarity of detail front to back and I very much like the way that the waterfall has been rendered. Yes, a classy shot.
John
ChazB 15 64 3 United Kingdom
6 Feb 2007 12:53PM
Hi Patrick, my mum was telling me about this HDR thing the other day...as I haven't been on here for what seems like months! Looks amazing and the lighting on the misty water gives it a wonderful atmosphere!
Charlotte
Malc_V 15 England
6 Feb 2007 3:40PM
Amazing image Patrick.

Nice one.

Malc.
PatrickSmith 16 1.2k 2 United States
6 Feb 2007 4:26PM
Thanks for looking!

I know what you mean Nigel. Give it a try though.

Thanks Eric, but at least you get rain and clouds year round!

Thanks Dennis. That is the idea I suppose. To make it look like what you see. In a way it is unremarkable because it just looks realistic.

Try it out Charlotte. Don't forget your studies though!

Patrick
6 Feb 2007 4:49PM
What a great exposure Patrick, simply stunning shot, Adrian
sneazy 16 74 United Kingdom
6 Feb 2007 8:09PM
As you know I am no expert on this technique at present (!)and I can see a fair bit of work has gone into this but my first impression on seeing this is that it looks a little too 'washed out', even dare I say it, almost a tad 'overexposed'. To my eyes if the lights were on the image as a whole would be a little darker. This is purely my initial reaction and only you were there to see and try and replicate the scene....

Mark
Chriscj 15 96 1 England
6 Feb 2007 8:17PM
Awesome detail Patrick. I must take a look into this HDR stuff, I did intend to leave it till I needed to but it's probably worth playing now.

Chris
PatrickSmith 16 1.2k 2 United States
6 Feb 2007 9:13PM
Thanks for your comments!

Mark, the nice thing about this is very little work went into it. The tricky part was getting the full exposure range right. I'll probably add some contrast to part of the scene, since others have noticed what you just did. That should remove the flatness. I deliberately chose a difficult scene to see what HDR could do. The lights and other bright areas were very bright and were blown out on all but the darkest image.

Definitely look into it Chris, you won't go back under certain circumstances.

Patrick
6 Feb 2007 9:31PM
I think most people are used to the limited exposure latitude of an image captured by film or a digital sensor in which less shadow and highlight detail is shown. Since they are used to seeing these limitations in a photo, when HDR is used to create an image closer to what is "real", it is less accepted. I like the idea of HDR, but it's very interesting to see the reactions of people when they actually reject a photo that is closer to what the human eye detects and prefer the limitations of the camera. I guess it's the same as the introduction of color photography. People were probably reluctant to accept color although, it moved us a step closer to reality. It should have more contrast in regards to the way we are used to seeing a photograph, but this image represents something closer to what the human eye would see. Maybe we are not ready for reality?
MalcolmS Plus
15 1.2k 13 England
6 Feb 2007 10:45PM
No need to add anything Patrick, all been said

Malcolm
7 Feb 2007 10:21AM
Patrick.....You did a wonderful job capturing the falls and the aura of this historical monument.

The warm light and glow of the falls you've produced is remarkable, you sure are mastering this HDR....Well Done!

Have a nice Wednesday.......Suze Smile
PatrickSmith 16 1.2k 2 United States
7 Feb 2007 2:58PM
Thanks for your comments.

Yes Dennis. You could be right. I am used to seeing more contrast in a shot that what I see with my eye. It may take a while to get used to this. I'll keep workign on it. I have moer planned.

Suzeee, still a long way to go I think, but thanks!

Patrick
tmann 16 4 2 United States
7 Feb 2007 3:28PM
Man, these are so good...
it's hard to say in a new way how good this is when 100+ people have said it before you. Your photos are always a pleasure to view!!!
Thomas
denka 16 7 Finland
7 Feb 2007 5:39PM
Hello Patrick!
Very nice info will keep that in mind, thanks. Very nice smoke effect on the water and everything looks so clear and lovelly. Well done again.

denka
kinfatric 16 550 9 Scotland
7 Feb 2007 5:54PM
this is a truly an amazing scene, so very well accomplished.
dalischone 16 295 Scotland
7 Feb 2007 8:26PM
Beautiful Patrick, love the milky misty water. An inspirational capture for a truly inspirational man.

Tracy
PatrickSmith 16 1.2k 2 United States
7 Feb 2007 10:29PM
Thanks for your comments!

LOL Thomas, You said it in a new way!

Tracy? Me? Maybe you got onto the wrong page - LOL!

Patrick
cantona43 15 928 4 United Kingdom
7 Feb 2007 10:34PM
Just Excellent
Neil
chase Plus
15 2.1k 562 England
8 Feb 2007 7:55AM
All this HDr stuff is going straight over my head Patrick,although I do like the results I'm seeing.
I like the clarity here,lots to see.
Janet
wamp 14 276 8 England
8 Feb 2007 1:53PM
Water looks very nice and velvety. The comp is also very good, HDR has worked very well for this one

Sean
franken Plus
18 5.2k 4 United Kingdom
8 Feb 2007 5:25PM
Truly amazing shot

Ken
glazzaro 16 70 23 United States
9 Feb 2007 2:44AM
What ever you are doing you sure are doing it up right, this is yet another brilliant piece of work! Hey I will be out your way on the 19th - 22nd of this month, unfortunately locked away in off-site meetings. Spot on! Click!!!

Greg
MikeA 16 1.3k England
9 Feb 2007 3:57PM
Stunning image Patrick, must catch up on your other "inland" images soon. Lovely example of HDR.

MikeA.
Remarkable work Patrick, this HDR is catching on I will try it soon.
All the very best
Dougie
Portknockie 16 48 Scotland
11 Feb 2007 7:23PM
Beautifully taken shot..the colours and colour tones are spot on...

DonSmile
Hawkgenes 16 10 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2007 8:38PM
Just a fab image to my eyes with perfect contrast and colour tones.

Hawk
xinia 16 54
19 Feb 2007 4:39PM
excellent work here Patrick
canongirl08 15 18 United Kingdom
19 Feb 2007 6:27PM
Wow excellent capture Patrick!
Great work
click
regards
chelseak
PatrickSmith 16 1.2k 2 United States
23 Feb 2007 11:04PM
Thanks for all of your comments!

Definitely try HDR!

Patrick
jan 1 17 12 Netherlands
25 Feb 2007 11:34AM
Spendid result, sorry to hear about you computer, bet you'r happy, soon the new one is 'online'.
Jan
inkarts 16 61 2
2 Mar 2007 2:24PM
Lots of echoing shapes and the detail make this a super shot. All things are a balance of Science and Art and you are perfecting that in this medium. Kind regards John
CathyI 16 344 3 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2007 2:25PM
I've got to go with the "great HDR, not sure about the composition" gang here... I suspect that being able to read the text is what makes the difference...
ericfaragh Plus
17 149 5 United Kingdom
4 May 2007 10:28AM
Nice contrast between the towering buildings and the falling waters.
Nettles 13 England
25 Jan 2008 12:39PM
Love the capture of the lights and the composition of this super image.
Annette

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