Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bicycles in Rome... HDR with Nik HDR Efex Pro

The city of Rome is a most exciting place! The cars are mostly small, and so are the motorcycles, actually scooters. I saw one Harley Davidson, and a ton of Vespa's.  I believe people live there by divine intervention. I have lived my entire life without ever getting close to getting hit by a car, but count three times in Rome including a police car while I was in the crosswalk!  I'm not counting the scrapings, and a few near hits (misses?) in taxi's, but, I lived to write about it.  :-) 

There are a lot of bicycles too, including this pair that I photographed in an alley. What attracted me to the composition was the texture of the stone and stucco, and the trio of posters above the bikes. It rained a lot in Italy, creating a look that the world was saturated with color. The bicycles were the perfect pairing for an HDR image. I made a series of three exposures using a Nikon D3s and 24-70mm lens, which is one of my favorites. 

Tips for HDR: Use a tripod, and remote release which is helpful for low light levels to prevent camera shake when pressing the shutter. Check the histogram to make sure there is detail in the exposure for highlights, and also the image for the shadows. You may only need to make three exposures in most cases, however in contrasty situations you may need to make additional exposures. Nik HDR Efex Pro worked beautifully to bring out the color and detail throughout the image. The presets are a great springboard to customize your image, and you can fine tune and save your settings to customize your HDR image. Have fun shooting!