One afternoon last weekend whilst Cuppa was concentrating on her beading, I drove to the site of the old MacArthur Woolen Mill for a bit of a photo shoot. Since my main intent was to scout the location, I didn’t take my tripod, but I ended up shooting pictures anyway. I took three bracketed exposures of all but one of the shots and put them together using Nik HDR Efex.
High dynamic range (HDR) images enable photographers to record a greater range of tonal detail than a camera could capture in a single photo. This opens up a whole new set of lighting possibilities which one might have previously avoided — for purely technical reasons. The new “merge to HDR” feature … accomplishes this by combining a series of bracketed exposures into a single image, which encompasses the tonal detail of the entire series.
There is no free lunch however; trying to broaden the tonal range will inevitably come at the expense of decreased contrast in some tones. Learning to use HDR software can help you make the most of your dynamic range under tricky lighting — while still balancing this trade-off with contrast.
Because we want to merge three exposures into one image, we need the three images (or sometimes more) to be identical in composition: everything in exactly the same place in each photo. The only thing that is supposed to change from one shot to the next is the exposure: one light exposure, one medium and one dark. Therefore, one should use a tripod when clicking off multiple exposures because it is very difficult to keep the camera still, no matter how fast the camera is or how rock steady one’s hands might be. Fortunately for me, the Nik software has a very good anti-ghosting algorithm. 🙂
From the historical plaque on site.
The MacArthur Woolen Mill was built in 1871 by Archibald MacArthur to manufacture fine worsteds and tweeds. The mill and other stone mills which derived its source of power from the Mississippi River, was one of the chief reasons for the municipality’s growth and a tangible reminder of the early industrial development of the town.
The building itself is constructed of Beckwith sandstone and has undergone many alterations, but the exterior still retains its original character.
With all of the palaver out of the way, here are the photos that came out of that session.
What can I say? I had fun! 🙂