Archive for ‘HDR’

April 25, 2010

You just can’t Fence Nature !

Horsley Hills, Sunrise
Horsley Hills
Karnataka, India

Horsley Hills – a unexplored hill station – is around 160 kms from Bangalore. This kind of was a good place for a weekend outing. The guest house was really neat, cost effective and you can generally get custom food made, if you get the required things (chicken etc) and provide sufficient time !

The sunset point was really good and easily accessible – thought we actually missed the sunset due to timing. This also had a lot of potential for star gazing and star trail photography – the point being walkable from the guest house [do remember to carry a torch].

There is no specific sun rise view point, but you could go up for a small hike adjacent to the holiday inn (or something named similar, close to the Governors’ Bungalow, if you are an early bird !!!

April 18, 2010

Painted Hills

Painted Hills, John Day Fossil Beds
Eastern Oregon, USA

What is it made of

Layers of hard claystones which include ancient soils (palesols) and lake beds. Recently the surface of the hills had weathered into softer clay. The claystones were formed by several geographic events in the past 33 million yrs. the volcanic activity of cascade mountains (some 100 miles west) deposited layers of cooled ash. The atmosphere with the help of the plants and animals oxidized the ash. Ground water feed’ed the varied minerals. And in due course today’s claybeds were formed (wow what an amount of structural and chemical changes would have happened !!!!)


Colors of the Painted Hills

Aluminum, Silicon, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Sodium, Calcium, Phosphorus, Titanium, Potassium, Oxygen, Hydrogen – All this above and some additional elements by a very special secret recipe forms the beautiful colors of this wonderful scenery. Depending on the amount of moisture and the light available , the shades keeps varying thru the day and all seasons.


How come there is not much of flora on the hill

Its a interesting to note that there is not much of flora on the painted hills. And the reason is more interesting  – The clay on the painted hills has a great ability to absorb water and swell. And most of the plant are not able to compete with the soil for water. And the once that do, u can see them in the crevices and gullies of the red hills (the yellow ones that blossoms during the spring are chaenactis and bee-plant.

For the Flowers view of the mountain check this out !!!

March 7, 2010

Lovely Sunset over Bangalore, India

Bangalore, India

Lovely sunset with warm vibrant fading in the horizon and kind of leaving Inner Light to the skys above.
This is one of my favorite sunset shots due to various reasons

This was a shot from my new apartment @ Bangalore, India ! It is amazing what u can see when u take some time to look around. Generally we travel all over to get to see sights like this … atleast I do !!!

Also this was a first shot from my new Wide Angle (10-22mm !!!) It has got amazing clarity. Need to try a full size to see the details on the construction , the playground etc. Probably need to get some vijayanagar architecture shots to better leverage the wide angle.

August 5, 2008

American Southwest – Monument Valley

Three Mittens, Monument Valley Navajo Park


Monument Valley is not really a valley, but an upwarp of sedimentary rock that is at least 260 million years old, surrounded by sentinels that have yet to fully erode. The floor itself is more than a mile high, part of the 130,000 square-mile Colorado Plateau. Sandstone is easily eroded, and the wind, rain, cycles of frost and heat have been at work, cracking and chiseling the valley to its present form.

June 11, 2008

Grand Canyon – The Making

Toroweep, Grand Canyon National Park

While the Colorado river accounts for the canyon’s depth, its width and formations are the work of even greater forces. Wind rushing thru the canyon erodes the limestone and sandstone- a few grains at a time. Rain pouring over the rim cuts deep side canyons on the softer rock. Perhaps the greatest canyon building force is snow or ice ! Water from the snow melt and the rain work its way into the cracks on the rocks. When frozen, expands, forcing the rocks away from the canyon walls.

February 20, 2008

Just Do it !

Enroute to Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT, USA

Thinking you need rest makes you restless.
Thinking you have to work hard makes you tired.
Thinking you have worked hard brings self pity.

Just Do It !!!

September 29, 2007

Ancient Drawing Board

Lower Calf Creek Trail
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Utah, USA

It was an amazing experience just walking between mineral-streaked cliffs of Navajo Sandstone, beaver ponds and pre-historic rock art sites en route to the 126-foot-high Lower Calf Creek Falls. The total roundtrip distance to the falls is 5-1/2 miles. Though the summer sun was above and my (a little over a year old) son was on the backpack, the hike was pretty enjoyable with very little elevation change. Most of the trail is sandy & that slows the pace, at times !

The most interesting part of the hike were the wall paintings and the Indian granaries (zoom in & zoom out) and of course the jewel of the crown being the lower falls itself.

On an entirely different perspective, we travel so far, hike so long to get a peek into the lives of the Anasazi Indians. These petroglyph on the walls of the canyons does provide the glimpse. But you know what, in most of these trails you see a notice that there are messages that indicate a heavy penalty if you make new makings (or painting) on these canyon walls (of course !!!)

We do have the technology to make new painting on these walls, that could last more the existing ones. If we are not allowed to make new paintings today how would people, 800 – 1000 years from get a glimpse onto ours lives …… right :-)

Wrong !!! As technology grows, live changes and so is the medium. Who knows even the blog(s) like these -yeah the same one u r reading now ;-) could serve the purpose of providing the window to our lives, in future. Time’s Person of the year , 2006 clearly indicated the significance of the user generated content (if you already don’t know Times Person of the year 2006 is YOU) .

The count of blogs, as of writing this post, just on alone is 1,562,804 blogs with 53,197 new posts today. Even after dropping off the test blogs and the inactive ones, it is still quiet a number – the point is there is a good amount of user content getting generated every day on the Internet.

What would happen to these valuable user generated content, once the user is no more ?Even if someone decides to manage and maintain a users content after user’s time, On what basis would the user account details be shared with the family or friends ? May be the blog or the site could be graciously closed, but what if the users demise is not expected ? Would these become asserts of the individuate and hence be part of his Will ? How would we differentiate between the valuable and junk out of these content ?

So many things to ponder about ….

August 29, 2007

The Earth is Cooking

Yellowstone National Park, WY, USA

This national park sits on 2000° lake of molten lava, an underground pressure cooker of 50 miles long and 30 miles wide. For atleast a few million years, since magma burned a hole under ancient Wyoming’s bedrock, yellow stone periodically disgorged a small ocean of lava in eruptions hundreds of times worse than any volcanic eruptions on earth.

Today, the volcanic action, heats the rocks below the surface, and this in turn creates all manner of spectacle in thousands of steaming hot springs and hundreds of geysers, plus bubbling mud-pots and fumaroles.

At Yellowstone, the earth is cooking – Life, Times Inc

January 2, 2007

The Quest – HDR & Night Photography

I am beginning to like the combination of HDR and long exposures. If you have not heard of HDR u might want to check this, this and this.

I challenged if, the indoor (the bookshelf with the lighting), the street in the back and the statue with the appropriate lighting could be captured, with out being washed out or under expososed. After a couple of long exposure , I decided to go with HDR and this is the result. How do u like it ?

This marble state is in front of the Standard Insurance building, Portland, OR (pushpin 1 – wow this is amazing, u could see where this statue is located, Tx live) . Though this is named "The Quest", I read the locals call it "The Three Groins in a Fountain".

Not sure y this statue is so notorious , while most of the other art work at Portland get much applause.

P.S : when I was looking for some information on the above , Google , yahoo and failed to return appropriate results for "Portland statue" "Portland white marble stature" "Portland nude statue" and all combination. I finally got the information I was looking for from Flickr. Yes Flickr !!! – the photo sharing site.

Though the same in Google Image search and Live Image returned one of two images of the above , those sites did not have much information. In some cases it was a cached copy.

On the other had the tag search in Flickr gave the most appropriate results. Once I got the name of the statue (converted it to text – "The Quest" from the above image) Google was the King.

Flickr (and most of the social networking sites) are building up so much data around them and have a great potential to deliver things the machines are not yet able to perform well. Looking forward to how Yahoo (yes if u r not aware Flickr is part of yahoo) would leverage this toward Image Search.

October 30, 2006

Night Shoot – Mt Hood

Each time I drove through I84, when I see Mt Hood standing so majestic, I wish at the least, I was not in the driver seat and at the extreme, was tempted to pull over at the emergency shoulder on the side of the highway and shoot out to my fullest the snow covered Mt. Hood.

I had always seen Mt Hood when I was on the way to somewhere and wanted to spend some quality time enjoying the splendor of the same. Hence when I first saw the ‘call for night shoot’ @ Flickr in PDX Ground, I was all game for it.

So yesterday several of Flickrites (Redgum, cinnabear100, outre, chief_dawg, WolfMana & myself) got together for a night shoot of Mt Hood headed by Redgum (Thanks a lot Redgum for putting it together). We drove to Trillium lake around 5:30 PM. Though the morning was bit foggy , the afternoon turnout to be bit more brighter.

The 15 second exposure limit on my S2 was bit restrictive, but still some of the shots came out good. Click on the picks to see a larger version @ Flickr, and here for a slide show.

Mt Hood Mt Hood from US 26, Pulled the car over the shoulder , ran across the highway and shot this. This actually is a HDR and I pretty much like the results
Mt Hood as reflected on Trillium Lake. It was around 7 PM and was quiet dark. Long exposure do create wonders. For a HDR version of the same check this out Reflections
Sunset ! Sun set @ Trillium Lake

The best part is I have never met the folks I went with yesterday, but it was fun, was a good team. Learnt new things, met some aliens, froze cold and got some good shots of Mt Hood. Meeting new ppl, learning their view and ideas, thank you Flickr for bring us all together (it is just not technology at the end, but how to make ppl use it).

Click here to see a VR Panorama of the view from Trillium Lake during daytime.

With the winter fast approaching , not sure of the probabilities of having one, but looking out for the next shoot out :)

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September 26, 2006

HDR – Tools and Technique

So HDR is all about making pleasant pictures, if handled appropriately. Let us delve into more detail as to how we could get the best out of HDR.

A quick searchfor HDR give a whole lot of material available online. I am not going to write one more tutorial, but thought it would be good to give the links to the stuff I found helpful.

Before jumping on the tutorials, some key points

  • No special camera feature if required for this. If you have a Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) Mode, it would be really helpful.
  • If you do not have a AEB Mode , look out for the Manual Mode. In manual mode you should be able to control the Exposure setting. If you neither have AEB nor manual mode, sorry u might be out of luck.
  • When using the manual mode (with AEB too), a tripod might be handy, depending on the length of exposure.

HDR (at least based on today’s digital cameras) involves two major steps

  • Use the Digital Camera to shoot the same scene with different exposure (minimum of 2 shots, better 3 – Exposure value of -2,0 & 2)
  • Use an appropriate software to post process these shots into a single HDR image and apply Tone Mapping.

IMG 6158 resize + IMG 6159 resize + IMG 6160 resize = IMG 6158 HDR Photomatix resize
Shots from Digital camera with different Exposure                       S/W Processing

The First Steps
To see how to take the multiple shots with different exposure, refer to How do I shoot an HDR image? in this FAQ from HDRSoft (quiet informative)

The Post Processing
A wide Varity of tools are available in the market for converting the multiple LDR (Low Dynamic range) Images to a HDR like Adobe Photo shop CS2, Photomatix from Hartford, Artizen HDR and I think even GIMPhas an option for processing HDR.

Out of all the once that I had tried, my favorites are Photomatix and Adobe Photo shop CS. Both of them have the ‘Align LDR Images before generating HDR’. It is really a amazing feature that could suffice for the absence of a tripod.

Here a detailed tutorialon how to use Photomatix for HDR processing and if ur interested in the the Photo shop stuff here it is.

Here is a exhaustive write up on HDR with both Photomatix and Photoshop.

August 26, 2006

HDR – What the heck is it

Couple of days back, while enjoying the lovely shots @ Flickr, I came across this. It really got me locked, to know more about, making this kind of shot.

In layman terms, HDR (High Dynamic Range) is a post processing method, by which it is possible to get the different lighting levels together, in a single shot (which other wise is not possible with a normal camera).

It is interesting to note that this technique is getting mainstream, though it was predominantly created for Computer Graphics and Digital Games.

HDR In Action

Consider the below three shots, that were taken @ different exposure. All three shots had the below EXIF (Only the Exposure was different)
Exposure time 1/60 s + F-number f/2.7 + Max. aperture value f/2.7

img_4548_resize.JPG Exposure value 0.00 eV
In this shot with normal exposure, one could see the things inside the room and also, though a bit washed out, could slightly see what is out side
Exposure value -2.00 eV
This one with a -2 eV captures the outside scene, higher lighting) but the room gets more darker, one could not make out the things on the table
img_4550_resize.JPG Exposure value +2.00 eV
This one with a higher eV clearly captures the room, but the higher intense (out side) is totally washed out

The beauty of HDR is that using the above three different exposures, one could build (post process) to arrive at a shot like below.

The Model Apt

It is interesting to note that the final (single) shot had clearly captured the coolness in the room (u could even note the table lamp glowing, the reflections on the shiny teak table, the crystal clear glasses, the details on the wall hanging) and the detail in the outside view (the construction happening, the river, mountains, buildings etc)

Click here to look at more of my HDR Samples
The Flickr HDR Group too has a great collection too.
Look out for further posts talking about the Tools required and the Actual Techniques of HDR and other Related Resources

Update :
Refer to this Post for Tools & Techniques on HDR
This one page summary on HDR is quiet informative

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