Birds as Buildings? Buildings as Art? HDR Possibilities « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Birds as Buildings? Buildings as Art? HDR Possibilities

I created the AEB images with the tripod-mounted Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D Mark IV.

Lens/TC/Camera Body Micro-Adjustment: -4, a big change for the +10 before this Mark IV was serviced by Canon.

Birds as Buildings? Buildings as Art? HDR Possibilities

On Saturday evening past I had the pleasure of joining Denise Ippolito and Scott Vincent on their Weehawken, NJ “NYC Skyline Creative Photography Workshop”. I had a ball, learned a ton, and made some great images. And so did everyone else. Check out Denise’s images from the workshop here and Scott’s here. With my super-telephoto way of seeing I could not resist breaking out the 800 while most folks were working with wide angle and short zoom lenses. For the tech specs on the five AEB images used to create the HDR stuff below and the two image that comprise the animated GIF above be sure to check out the follow-up blog post coming soon. Scott opened my eyes to a huge mistake that I had been making when using the 800 at very slow shutter speeds for years; I will also share that revelation with you in the next blog post.

Give the opening animated GIF a few seconds to run and compare the flat, pretty boring image that I created from a single frame (i.e., business as usual) with the vibrant, pleasingly contrasty, high dynamic range image that was created from the five AEB captures. The HDR image is a no-brainer winner. It was created by processing the image in Photomatix Pro 4.1.1 with the Enhancer Default Preset. Enhancer Preset will give you a pretty much straight HDR image. (I will be sharing lots of HDR stuff with you here and in coming Bulletins.

Denise and I are currently working on an HDR Grunge guide and hope to have it available in about two weeks. In the meantime if you would like purchase Photomatix and save 15% click here and be sure to enter birdsasart as the coupon code. You can download and use a trial copy of Photomatix before you buy. (It is fully operational; the processed images will have a visible watermark on them.)

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I created the bracketed AEB images with the tripod-mounted Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D Mark IV. Exposure details will be revealed in the next blog post. Be sure to stay tuned ๐Ÿ™‚

The image above was created with the Comrpressor Default preset in Photomatix Pro 4.1.1 (with a few tweaks).

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I created the bracketed AEB images with the tripod-mounted Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D Mark IV. Exposure details will be revealed in the next blog post. Be sure to stay tuned ๐Ÿ™‚

And the final HDR image was created with the HDR Grunge fault in Photomatix Pro 4.1.1 (with a few tweaks).

Which One Do You Like Best?

Please take a moment to leave a comment and let us know which of the four images above you like best and why. If you hate all HDR images and/or you hate all images of buildings there is no need to chime in here ๐Ÿ™‚

Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of he gear used to make the three mages in this post. Thanks a stack to all who have used the Shopper’s Guide links to purchase their gear as a thank you for all the free information that we bring you on the Blog and in the Bulletins. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.

Support both the Bulletins and the Blog by making all your B & H purchases here.

Remember: you can earn free contest entries with your B & H purchases. Eleven great categories, 34 winning and honored images, and prize pools valued in excess of $20,000. Click here for details.

Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens. Right now this is my all time favorite super-telephoto lens.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body. My two Mark IVs are my workhorse digital camera bodies.

And from the BAA On-line Store:

LensCoats. I have a LensCoat on each of my big lenses to protect them from nicks and thus increase their re-sale value. All my big lens LensCoat stuff is in Hardwood Snow pattern.
LegCoat Tripod Leg Covers. I have four tripods active and each has a Hardwood Snow LegCoat on it to help prevent further damage to my tender shoulders ๐Ÿ™‚
Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod. This one will last you a lifetime.
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head. Right now this is the best tripod head around for use with lenses that weigh less than 9 pounds. For heavier lenses, check out the Wimberley V2 head.
CR-80 Replacement Foot for Canon 800. When using the 800 on a Mongoose as I do, replacing the lens foot with this accessory lets the lens sit like a dog whether pointed up or down and prevents wind-blown spinning of your lens on breezy days by centering the lens directly over the tripod.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.
Be sure to check out our camera body User’s Guides here.
The Lens Align Mark II. I use the Lens Align Mark II pretty much religiously to micro-adjust all of my gear an average of once a month and always before a major trip. Enjoy our free comprehensive tutorial here.
A Guide to Pleasing Blurs. Everything that you wanted to know about creating pleasing blurs and more!
BIRDS AS ART Camera Body User’s Guides. Why spend $2-5 grand on a camera and not learn to use it?

8 comments to Birds as Buildings? Buildings as Art? HDR Possibilities

  • Art – your recent revelation regarding switching off the I.S. when using a very slow Shutter Speed on a static subject with the lens mounted on a tripod leads me to ask you a converse question. Do you subscribe to the view that when using a fast shutter speed of 500th or more I.S. ceases to have any effect?

    Jed, No sir. Do I have any evidence that my images are sharper with IS on? No. But I do know that in some situations including flight and very windy days, that IS makes it easier to keep the bird framed as you wish. Also, see this very interesting thread on the same subject on BPN. artie

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    See my favorite here.

  • I like #4 a lot, but the top of the pink and gray building appears to be leaning slightly to the right to my weird eyes. I copied it into PS and used: Edit & gt; Transform & gt; Distort to “pull” the top of the image to the left a tiny bit. Cool Image! Adam

    Adam, What;s with the & gt? Glad that you liked. And yes, there is a bit of distortion here and there ๐Ÿ™‚ Staring at this image can make you wacky. artie

  • I will join the rest of the Group on ” The Default ” … I am sure there is a bird somewhere on that building. I am fascinated by HDR … and glad for your interest. Looking forward to how you are going to translate it into ” Birds ” … especially inflight. Christian …

    I have not experimented with single frame HDRs but plan to. Other than that I am limited to sleeping and dead birds–did one of those this morning…. artie

  • Hmm…asking which of these I prefer is like asking which of my children is my favorite; they’re different, but I like them both. I’ve been doing HDR for a couple of years now; in some cases, you can make great use of shots you might otherwise have thrown away.

    Glad you’re having some newfound fun with it!


  • avatar Mary Stamper

    This one of those images where abstract geometric elements prevail. As such , I don’t see any need for anything to look “real”. Grunge actually works well here. I’m not usually much of a grunge fan, but for this sort of thing, I think it works.

  • avatar Edward Fisher

    +I agree with Jim that #2, Enhancer Default, is the best of the four images. Number 3, Compressor Default, is over done, and #4, Grunge, doesn`t fit in this situation.

  • avatar Jim Kranick

    I prefer #2, the Photomatic Pro HDR Enhancer Default. I feel it is still realistic and brighter than #1 & #3. #1 & #3 are too flat for me and #4 is somehow “overdone.”