Risen At The Well

Risen At The Well

f/23,0.5-4", ISO-100, 18mm

I don’t normally do HDR. I’ve fiddled with the process a few times, and posted some of the results here, but in general I don’t get results I appreciate. I don’t often see results from others I appreciate either, for that matter. HDR is often used to create a surreal scene, laden with special effects, and if I had a large interest in that I would learn to use Photoshop better and create my scenes from scratch.

For my personal aesthetic, the best use of HDR is to enhance the scene to look more like the eye sees it. Or, rather, to make the image look more like how the mind remembers it.

This morning I found myself, against all reason, wide awake a few minutes before sunrise, and in a fit of inspired energy I flogged myself out of bed, threw on some warm clothes, and took off to see if the local cemetery would provide an image for me as the sun rose over the horizon. Well, it did and it didn’t. I saw some really nice colors, but the camera had difficulty with them. If I captured the colors in the sky, there was nothing but black in the foreground. If I got the foreground, the sky was white.

But the morning was still, and so I decided to try some very slow shots and step my way up to faster ones, with the aperture as tight as I could get it for maximum depth of field. I still didn’t get any single shot I was happy with, but once back home I figured that this is supposed to be the sort of thing that HDR is good at, so I imported 15 exposures into my seldom-used HDR program and tweaked the settings until I got this final result, which I think is striking without looking like an alien landscape. The colors are as I remember them, colorful sky and vibrant greens.

This is what HDR is meant for.

This entry was posted in Landscape, Natural Lighting, Nature, Photography, Spring and tagged , , , , , .


  1. mdphotographers April 8, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    I am mentally clapping at this picture. I saw this last night on my smartphone but I wanted to view the photo on my laptop.. WOW WOW WOW.. I love this photograph!! This is one of the best HDR photos that I have seen.. 15 exposures huh?? Well if that is what it takes then do it again and again.. Thanks for sharing..

    • AJBopp April 8, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

      Thanks! I’m not very experienced with HDR so I have no idea if 15 exposures was overkill, but I had them and I figured “Why not?” I certainly enjoyed the result though. Glad you did too!

  2. Anonymous April 8, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    WOW!!! read about all the work you went thru to get this fantastic picture….I feel as if I ams tanding right beside taht tree! I have been waiting all day to get home and see your Easter sunrise…Tony it was worth the wait!!! Hope you had a nice Easter as a reward.

  3. StrangeLittleGirl Photography April 9, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    This is definitely a great example of HDR! I too don’t always like the look of HDR images, as they are a little unnatural looking for me. Nice work!

    • AJBopp April 9, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

      Thanks! Very glad to hear you liked my HDR attempt.

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