Author Archives: Heikki Alho

Nik software HDR Efex Pro: Sample images from single raw image

HDR processing can be very useful also in situations when it is not possible to shoot multiple bracketed shots. HDR Efex pro provides some very useful presets to get started and I find results from the presets really useful.

Below I have some examples of processing done from single raw image shot by Canon 5d mk II, by using HDR Efex pro -software. Original images have also been processed in Lightroom.

I guess the main lesson here is that it is possible to make clear difference by using software like this, but if the result is improvement is anybody’s own verdict.

EOS 5d mk II vs Incredible S

Just for fun, here is very unscientific comparison between EOS 5d mk II and HTC Incredible S phone. EOS 5d mk II was equipped with Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens and HTC Incredible with Vignette app. Fair comparison I would say.

Both images were converted to same size and inserted here. Naturally differeces are immediately clear, HTC picture has some noise visible even in this broad daylight shot, then again Vignette has been used to make the HTC picture at least look different.

All in all, these “cameras” clearly are for different use, but still I would bravely say that mobile cameras can these days already very well be used for snapping at least if combining it with app like Vignette to add some filters to pictures.

So, then the result. Phone gets a point for being always with you, and other point from good selection of photography related apps. EOS 5d mk II gets a points from picture quality and other one from better viewfinder. So official unscientific result is 2-2 Draw. Both camers still have their uses at least for me.

Vignette app in real life road test

On my recent trip through Estonia I did quite thorough testing and experimenting with Android Vignette app on my HTC Incredible S phone. All and all this area of “iPhoneography” seems to be getting to be quite relevant and interesting area of photography as mobile cameras are now reaching acceptable level. Being forced to use focal length of about 30mm constantly really forces you to think about what you shoot.

My initial impressions or mini review about Vignette app is positive. It really adds the usefulness of mobile camera, and as such is easily worth the money.

But anyway, below you can find some real world Vignette app sample images from my trip:

(more samples from here http://www.flickr.com/photos/heikkialho/sets/72157627115308704/)

50 must-read photography books | Pixiq

 

50 must-read photography books | Pixiq.

Interesting list of photography related readings.

Playing with the depth of field

Selecting the right depth of field for photos is one of the constant topics being discussed. I have here one examples of same scene with 2 extreme full settings, one taken with F2.8 and other with F32. I tend to prefer the one with less depth of field (taken wth F2.8).

Photo is taken with Canon EOS 5d Mark II and EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM.

Taking pics in extreme coldness

Old windmill in Otava by HeikkiA
Old windmill in Otava, a photo by HeikkiA on Flickr.

Well, just testing connection and how to post entries from Flickr.

Picture taken in -30 degrees. Really the main trick in those conditions is to keep you and your camera warm enough to be able to operate.

Polarizing filter and reflection on the water

I this experiment I was trying to study how much polarizing filter does impact reflection on the water. These 2 images are taken seconds from each other, both with circular polarizer attached but I turned the filter between the shots. Results seems to be quite clear here.

In this first one you can clearly see thru the water. Effect of polarizer is used to reduce the reflection as much as possible. And in the second one only reflections are visible:

5 Tips for Creating a Story in Your Image

The Secret of Creating a Strong Image – 5 Tips for Creating a Story in Your Image.

Some very usefull tips in the link above.

Fairy tale -effect with HDR

One good use for HDR photography and processing is to create fairy tale -effect. With these example images I was not trying to hide the fact that they are HDR, instead I went slight over the top.

All these 3 HDR’s are made from 3 raw files, taken with Canon 40D without tripod. 40D has such a good fps rate, that I have had reasonable results without tripod. Trick is to have 40D on fast burst mode, and have exposure bracketing on, and just try to keep camera as steady as possible while shooting the sequence of 3 shots. On most situation software, eg. Photomatix in this case, is able to cope with small movement between the shots.

Creating HDR like effect on sunset image

I have tried to create HDR like effect by 3 simple adjustments to original image. Adjustments made were:

  • Decreasing exposure by -0.5 full stops
  • Lightening the shadows by 31 units
  • Increasing image temperature by 1500 degrees (well, not needed for HDR effect, but was appropriate here otherwise)
This example image was processed in Aperture 3, but same could be easily done eg. in Lightroom.