My first photo today is a rare (for me) HDR image. It was made locally at Wolfe Lake during the winter a few years ago. This is an example of how HDR can be used to create traditional images, but make them better. This scene is exactly what I saw as I stood on the shores of my favorite little sunrise lake. My camera however, saw something different. To have kept that sunrise sky rich and colorful I would have had to underexpose the frozen lake. I make many such pictures but in this case I wanted to retain the sky color, and also show the thin ice and snow on the surface of the water. I made three exposures, the first being right on for a rich sky, leaving a dark lake. The second was underexposed a bit more. My only true purpose for this underexposure was to balance my overall image. The third exposure was extremely overexposed. That pretty sky was washed out and weak, but there was nice detail in the lake. I combined those three images with my HDR software and there you are….walla. I could have used a graduated neutral density that would hold the exposure in the sky, but the balancing act is actually more difficult. I know because I have used those filters many times. I also used the HDR technique because I had just downloaded the software and I wanted to try it. HDR imaging can be overused and I see a lot of that as I cruise pictures on the web, but it can also serve the purpose of blending exposures to keep them in line with what we see.
I love our local Ring-billed and Herring Gulls when they are in alternative plumage due to age or season. I also love the fact that they are easy to get close to. Super close-ups of birds when they are in that “pensive” state of mind as this one seems to be in, are personal favorites of mine. I wonder what he is thinking?
Lesser Yellowlegs are among our commonest of shorebirds. They are common both in their numbers, and in their plumage. I never ignore the common birds and sometimes simple elegance is a benefit when in a habitat that is inherently both simple and elegant in its own right.
German Wildlife photographer Gabriela Staebler is one of Europe’s top shooters. She has long list of accomplishments. Gabriela wisely subscribes to the “only give away the little pix for free” philosophy, so I have included three small images from her. She has an amazing list of subjects and her work is worth seeing. Most of her wildlife images are made at the perfect moment in time. She may be German but she spends a lot of time in Africa.
I thought I would share this Kurt Budliger image because it is so exceptional. The resolution, contrast, color and composition is all as good as it gets. Kurt is an American landscape artist who is a prominent workshop teacher and adventurer. His images can cause mouths (of photographers) to water
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who visit Earth Images. Some of you follow this blog on a regular basis and I appreciate that more than I can say. Recently I have been sharing the work of some of the world’s finest image makers. I hope you have enjoyed viewing those pictures as much as I have enjoyed showing them.
When I began this blog I doubted I would do it for very long. I did not take well to being an amateur photographer sharing old images. It is in my blood to pursue the business of photography while creating new pictures, every single day if possible. I have almost stopped Earth Images on many occasions. At one such time I came oh so close to deleting the entire blog and all of its posts. I keep going only because of the support. The subscriptions, visits from web searches, back channel comments, and occasional comments on the blog, keep me fired up enough to continue.
Thank you, Wayne