Clouds Jump from Photograph, Don’t You Think?
I was looking around on my Skitch account today and found this. I know quite a few people have seen this, but certainly none of my Twitter friends. And, because this is a photo blog, and this was such a cool learning experience for me, I wanted to include it here.
I took this picture summer 2009. If you’re familiar with HDR, you know that three or more shots of different exposures are taken, then “melded” together to produce one photo. Usually I just do all this in Photoshop because my camera really hasn’t the capability. If I change exposure, then I wiggle the camera, no matter how careful I am.
While I understand it’s not HDR, it’s fun nevertheless. That, after all, is what this is all about. Does anyone know what “they” do call that?
In this shot though, I did change the exposure for each of three shots. One’s underexposed, another is exposed properly, and the third is overexposed.
I used Photomatix Pro to put them together, and probably tweaked it just a little in Photoshop afterward.
The interesting thing about this photo is the clouds. They almost jump off the page. I learned something from this shot that I didn’t understand before.
Previous to this photograph, I had been looking through the photographs at stuckincustoms.com. Trey Ratcliff travels the world with his camera and takes the most incredible HDR photographs. However, I noticed some of his picture seemed just a little surreal, and I couldn’t put my finger on it. That’s not a “judgement” either. I love his work. I remember one in particular in which he photographed sailboats. The masts looked like they were slightly raised a off the photograph. It was something I didn’t understand about his photographs. I assumed it was part of the process, but I didn’t know what part.
When I took and processed this picture, I realized what it was; movement. From one exposure to the next, the masts must have moved just a little as the boats moved with the water. The software doesn’t perfectly match the elements of the picture, so that effect is the result. At least that’s my best guess. Although the clouds didn’t move a lot, in my picture, they moved enough in my relatively long, manual-exposure-change time, to achieve that effect. I’m sure I also moved the camera while changing the exposure.
Anyway, I think THAT’s why those clouds jump off the page. They moved just a little each time I had to change exposure, and they were too different to match well in Photomatix.
Not only did I like the effect I got, I had a lot of fun playing with this photograph.