Lensbaby HDR

One of my favorite techniques is HDR, the combining of varying exposures of a subject, taking the best features from both under and over exposed frames. Doing it with a Lensbaby sounded like a really fun challenge. I usually apply this technique to landscapes, flowers, buildings, etc. But, this time I was inspired by the reflections in a multi-colored broken glass ball we have on a stand in the courtyard just off our deck.

Paying Attention

Sometimes it’s good to just start shooting if you do not have a specific subject in mind. I wandered around shooting flowers, rocks and the overall scene, hoping that I would find something interesting. I see this glass ball everyday, so it’s become just part of the scenery for me. Sort of, in sight, out of mind. After about 30 to 40 minutes of shooting, and not getting anything very exciting, it hit me. I just happened to glance over at the ball to see the sky reflected and the wonderful colors of the glass sparkling. I’m a sucker for contrast in movement. It can be the stillness of a rock in a flowing stream, or someone moving against a static background. But this was different, contrast in the normal sense.

The Shot

The sun was below the horizon, making the lighting very even and warm. I setup my Canon 5D, Lensbaby Composer Pro with the Double-Optic and an f/5.6 aperture ring. The camera was on a tripod with a remote shutter release. I walked around shooting some flowers while changing attachements on the Lensbaby. Everything from wide angle, telephoto and macro add-on lenses were tried. The standard lens was what I ended up with( go figure…).

The base exposure was set using medium spot metering at ISO 100 in Av mode. Once the base was found, I shot exposures from -3 to +4 stops. I used Photoshop CS5’s HDR tool to merge the exposures and came up with this:

HDR Globe

HDR image from 8 exposures, one stop apart( -3, 0, +4 ).

I made sure that the reflections of the sky were not over blown and that the details remained everywhere else. This is an unrealistic interpretation, but I like it. Can’t wait to print this on metallic paper.

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