Archive for the ‘32 Float’ Category

Limmer’s Workbench   9 comments

Limmer's Workbench


The main workbench at Limmer & Sons Custom Boots in Intervale, New Hampshire.

You might recall this location from other images, “The Bootmaker”, “They Never Call”, and “Consigned”, among others. Let’s suggest that it’s a target-rich environment for an HDR photographer.

When talking to Pete Limmer last fall, he had mentioned that some of those earlier pictures were “very detailed.” I never really found out if that was a good thing, or not, but for this image I thought I’d hedge my bets by presenting a more realistic, less ‘hyper’ image. In fact, I had processed this scene some time ago and kept it on file, but when I opened it up for review, it was sort of an assault on the eyes. So, I reprocessed it completely to come up with this version.

I’m planning to create a new video tutorial soon, titled something like, “Why Photomatix Pro alone isn’t enough.” Often, when trying to come up with a realistic-looking HDR image, Photomatix falls short for me — I find that the output can often be soft. Other programs such as HDR Expose (from Unified Color) or ImageFuser tend to be better choices, although I almost always wind up blending in some Photomatix versions before doing more detailed processing. For this version, I started with the output from HDR Expose, adjusted it using 32-Float, and then layered in a Photomatix tonemap at 24% Normal and a Shadowmap at 22% Hard Light as a base before setting about with other adjustments (brightness, skew, de-fringe, etc.) and filter techniques (Nik Color Efex Pro.)

In the end, I think it created a balance between the high-detail of a very complicated environment, along with a good dose of realism. I also really appreciate Peter and Ken letting me into the back of the shop during working hours to capture this unique scene.

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Linzee’s Window   13 comments

Linzee's Window

Located at St. Saviour’s Episcopal Parish, Bar Harbor, Maine.

This church is definitely worth a stop if you’re in Bar Harbor. Although on the small side as far as churches go, it’s adorned with dozens of beautiful stained glass windows, with ten of them by Tiffany. I was particularly attracted to this one for it’s rich color and depiction of the local scenery.

From the St. Saviour’s web site:

Elizabeth Linzee: Designed by Denby of New York, made in Boston in 1937. It depicts St. Elizabeth with the child Jesus and St. John the Baptist. Note the hills of Mt. Desert Island in the background and the Trinity depicted with three gulls. Miss Linzee was an active supporter of the Jesup Library during a lifetime of summers in Bar Harbor.

More information on the church’s windows can be found here.

Because of the low amount of available light in the church, I shot this as a bracketed set in order to capture all elements of the window. Turns out that I needed them all! Nine exposures at 26mm, f/2.8, ISO100

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Under the First Layer   4 comments

Under the First Layer

To the same location where Molasses and I Fought the Lawn… were shot, I returned the other day with prints in hand to give to the elder Mr. Riggs, who owns the granary and feed store on the property. It was my way of getting him to allow unfettered access to the remainder of the property… and it worked. Well, he wouldn’t let me inside any of the buildings, but there was much to be seen as I worked my way through the woods and fields.

There’s nothing modern about this place. All the barns, silos, and tin buildings are worn and weathered, with some close to collapse.

I worked my way around one large building and found this vignette on the back and propped my tripod between the building and a large pecan tree that had fallen thanks to Hurricane Irene. I marveled at the slow collapse of the wooden siding, boards holding on by just a few nails here and there, and the weathered look of old tar paper and wood being revealed bit-by-bit over time.


This is a 9-frame HDR processed using both Photomatix Pro and HDR Express/32 Float. Also of note is that post-processing in Photoshop was done with the brandy-new Color Efex Pro 4 from Nik Software, now in beta. We’ve just been released to speak of the new program, and lemme tell you… it’s a great update!

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Linda Ann   7 comments

Linda Ann
On the same cruise through rural Pamlico county where we found Serviceable, the road leads through the town of Oriental. It’s a quaint little place on the waters of the Neuse River leading into Pamlico Sound, which is the largest lagoon on the east coast.

Oriental is a haven for recreational sailors as well as shrimpers, and is well worth the visit, but be sure to poke around carefully. Blink, and you’ll drive right through town.

Despite the appearance of tranquility, this image was difficult to process. With the tripod set up on a large, floating dock, there were enough people wandering onto the dock that the whole system moved substantially, causing alignment problems. (And, it was simply too hot out to wait for everyone to leave!) Enter Photomatix Pro’s selective de-ghosting feature, which has saved more than a few of my brackets. Without this function, other programs tend to fall short given the task of dealing with wind effects and vibration, problems that we frequently encounter. A good trick to try in a case like this is what I’ve done here: Use Photomatix Pro to come up with the base image, then layer on clean output from other programs in order to pull out all the details — it seems that no one program does everything perfectly for what I want to do.

I’ll likely illustrate this technique in an upcoming video tutorial.

Speaking of which, my free HDR Processing Techniques tutorial just surpassed 1,150 views, which surprises me in that I don’t usually advertise or promote its presence on YouTube. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and many people have written some nice personal notes of thanks, which just warms my heart.  If you haven’t yet seen it, you can find Part 1 of 5 here: HDR Processing Techniques with Rob Hanson, Part 1.  And please tell your friends… I’m not so much of a social media monster that I can get the word out effectively, so your help is much appreciated. Thanks.


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Gravid   5 comments


Well, well, well… Guess who’s expecting?

You all might remember Grace from a recent photo, taken as she approached the gardens.

A little while ago, just after this picture was taken, Grace began cavorting with a male rabbit just a few feet away from us. We were enthralled as the dance continued. The male made any number of passes at Grace, and she’d leap out of his way, moving off to continue munching on clover. This went on for about an hour. They must not have appreciated our voyeurism, though, because they both headed off behind some hay bales, only to reappear a short time later.

Now, we’ve noticed, Grace has taken to climbing up on one of the hay bales. Curious. When we looked closer, we found that she has made a den on top of a hay bale, right up against… the rabbit fencing.

Sheesh… the girl sure knows where to shop for her groceries. This means that in a couple of weeks, I’m going to be scooping baby bunnies out of the garden with a butterfly net, as I did the last time Grace dropped a litter. I actually look forward to that, and hope to get some cute pics out of it.

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Alone + Nature = Nurture   19 comments

A lone person regards the ocean surf at Otter Point, Acadia National Park, Maine

This is one of my favorite spots on the coast of Maine.

Rather than go into some lengthy prose regarding the image, I thought I’d let the title speak for itself.

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Hammonassetsunset   13 comments

A stunning sunset over water at Hammonasset Beach State Park, Connecticut


It seemed an appropriate way to close out the week by posting a nice sunset image to go along with yesterday’s “Early One Morning” sunrise.  This also marks my fifth post out of five days, which is likely a record for me.

This was taken while staying at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Connecticut, the evening we landed at the campsite. We had been driving all day long, so strolling around to enjoy the quiet and serenity was just what we needed. We fancied that the fisherman came out of the large house on the right to catch his dinner on the jetty.

Six exposure HDR, f/7.1, 11mm, ISO 200. Merged in HDR Express, adjusted using 32 Float in Photoshop CS5, with Nik Color Efex Pro and Topaz DeNoise. This one seemed a real bear to process. Finding the right balance between foreground and background — so that neither looked out of place — was fairly challenging.

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Early One Morning   13 comments

An early sunrise through fog at Hammonasset Beach State Park, Connecticut

Early One Morning

In coastal North Carolina, the summers can be absolutely stifling. With temperatures steadily in the upper 90s and humidity levels to match, just moving through the day can prove difficult. Three changes of clothing per day are not unheard of.

It’s no surprise that we usually flee the state late in the season, heading up to New England to camp and hike. As we travel from NC toward New England, each day brings progressively cooler temperatures. Like stepping into a walk-in refrigerator, the relief is palpable, and we breathe a little easier for every degree of latitude we gain.

Two days into our drive north in 2010, we stumbled onto Hammonasset Beach State Park in Connecticut. It was surprisingly nice given its proximity to large metro areas, and if we had more time in the schedule, we would have stayed an extra couple of nights.

Early one morning, I rolled out of the tent to find the sunrise bouncing through a fog bank that had rolled off of Long Island Sound. The grasses were wet with dew, and the local wildlife was just getting started for the day.

It has been dastardly hot in NC for this time of year. Through late May and into this early in June, we’re already breaking temperature records with highs of around 98. I felt I needed a little relief from the weather (and from posting farm and garden shots!), so I dragged this one out of the archives as a reminder — an incentive to get through the upcoming summer months.

Handheld three exposure HDR, f/7.1, ISO 200, 70mm. Merged in HDR Express, adjusted using 32 Float, finished with Nik Color Efex Pro in Photoshop CS5

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More Hay!   5 comments

We get a pickup truck full of hay for our gardens this year.

Susan has long enjoyed gardening, although a lot of what she has done has been in self-watering containers on the deck. This spring, we’ve expanded the static garden quite a bit, and more hay is called for in the process.

Not being much of a farm guy, I never knew you could fit over 20 bales of hay into the back of a pickup, but the farmer and hand who loaded up the truck made it look easy.

In the center of the gardens, we have conventional beds. New this year, we’ll be planting beans, squash, and other nutritious goodies in the hay bales, which will start to melt down late in the season. This will create a nice, self-composting bed for next year.

To learn more about hay bale gardening, there’s a good video on YouTube, located here.

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 lens at 31mm, f/11, eleven exposures fired from Promote Control.

I used an amalgam of output tonemaps from both HDR Express and Photomatix Pro. While HDR Express gave me a more accurate representation of foreground color and detail, Photomatix’s manual anti-ghosting features helped to tame the moving trees… it was a very windy day. Otherwise, the usual suspects took part — Photoshop, Nik Color Efex Pro, etc.

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Squatter’s Rights   6 comments

A wren's nest is nestled into the workings of a rusted Farmall tractor in Pollocksville, North Carolina

We’re going back to Clyde Murphy’s tractor farm in Pollocksville, NC for this scene. You can see many more images from this location by scrolling back through recent blog entries.

As I was wandering up and down the line of tractors, I spotted what I think is a wren’s nest tucked into the workings of an old Farmall. I suppose a house is a home, especially when protected from the wind and rain, but I can’t imagine the level of surprise in store when Clyde fires this one up. A mobile home, then?

Nikon D7000, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens at 16mm, f/7, 7 exposures from Promote Control.

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