Portland Union Station
This is the result of my first HDR attempt. By that I mean going out with my camera with the intent of taking a bracketed set of photos to produce an HDR image. As usual, I happy, and I’m not. I’m actually quite happy about the final outcome – yes I know, I can hear several of you who know me right now… You’re thinking, “What? Your happy? You are never happy with your work.”. Well, true – I’m also not happy :)
Shooting: I’m happy I got something on a first attempt. Considering I’ve never done this before, it was raining, it was pretty dark (about 5 minutes to 7pm) it came out okay. I’d gone through what I thought the process would be in my head. It turned out to be different then I thought, so was a good learning experience. For instance, I knew my camera would shoot up to 9 bracketed exposures, but I’ve not really played with it much before. I got down to Portland, set up my camera (in the rain), put it bracketing mode, set the option for 9 exposures, composed, locked everything down, closed the eye-piece shutter and very carefully pressed the shutter button. It took *one* exposure. What? You mean I have to press the shutter button for each one? I don’t want to do that! It means I’m touching the camera between each exposure (not good), and I have to keep count of where it is in the cycle, or it will just start over again (say if I took a 10th exposure). Clearly, I have to read more about the bracketing options or find another solution.
So, Yes, I’m happy. When I reviewed the 9 exposures while there I thought I pretty much had nothing. It was really hard to judge never having done this before, so I expected pretty poor results when I got home.
Processing: I’ve never done HDR processing before either – though I’ve read other peoples blogs, watched some screen casts and some video training. Clearly, I have a *lot* to learn here too. I’m glad I made it through the merging and toning process with something that’s probably okay for a first attempt. It was a lot harder and more complex then I expected. I like how the roof(s) of the station came out and I really like the wet sidewalks, train tracks and passenger platforms look (though I’m noticing right now that they look much better in the full size photo). I’m not too keen on the artifacts that showed up in the roof of the passenger platforms – they are not there in any of the exposures, so I think it has something to do with the merge process. I’m also not excited about the bright blue halo around the UNION STATION neon sign. It’s clearly there in the +EV exposures, but not in the -EV exposures. I couldn’t find a good way to remove it because all exposures where there is little or no glow are nearly black outside the neon letters.
I would love to get some feedback and thoughts from some of you HDR and URBEX photographers on shooting and processing. I think this could be a lot better. Also, if there are any HDR/URBEX photographers in Portland/Vancouver that would like to shoot together sometime – contact me, because I haven’t found you yet.