Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I've recently started taking HDR photos.  For those who are not sure what that is, HDR stands for High Dynamic Range.  Have you ever taken a photo where the sky was nice and blue, or you had a beautiful sunset, but the person in the photo is totally dark?  Or just the opposite, you have your person looking nice and illuminated, but the background, your sky, is blown out and totally white.  Here's an example, I have a nice sunset captured, but all detail in the foreground is black.

With HDR photography, you take multiple exposures of the same shot.  For instance, I take the shot like above where the sky is just how I want it, I take one where the foreground is just how I want it, and one in between.  In fact, you can combine more than just three photos, but you need at least three the majority of the time.  This is really basic, but for anyone more interested in HDR, do a Google search on it.  :)

So, here's the result when I take 5 photos at different exposure levels and combine them together.

You'll notice that everything is properly exposed.  The sky and the foreground.  Another cool thing with HDR is you can really push some other settings to give it a surreal kind of look, or you can chose to give it a more natural look...all a matter of preference and what you're trying to accomplish.

Here's a few more I've done recently.

Taken with a fisheye lens, which gives it the linear distortion you see

Another fisheye shot

Cabin in Chattsworth, GA

A few weeks ago we decided to take a last minute family vacation and rent a cabin in Chattsworth, GA.  It had been a really hectic few weeks prior to that with my work schedule and church callings, and it felt like I wasn't home much at all.  Q and I decided that we should get away for a long weekend, and man was it worth it.  The cabin was awesome.  In fact, if anyone is interested in renting a cabin, let me know and I'll forward the info on this one to you.  It was perfect for us.  Two bedrooms, full kitchen with all the appliances we would need, gas and charcoal grill, fireplace, fire pit, lots of space out doors for the kids, including a very pretty stream, and best of all...it was totally secluded.  Not a soul around.

After staying at the cabin for a couple of days, we went to Fort Mountain State Park and hiked one of the peaks there.  It was very beautiful and the weather was awesome.  It was a much needed weekend for our family and everyone had a blast.  Only problems were Q's allergies, and HDB not wanting to take naps in a new place.  Everything else was perfect.  Here's a pic of the cabin.

Q likes to poke fun at me for taking so many photos and video of nothing but water.  What can I say, I'm fascinated by the great H2O!  So, I'll get my obligatory water shots out of the way here.  :) Here's a few shots of the stream by the cabin.

Here's HDB exploring his new surroundings.


 Kids playing in the creek. By the way that water was FREEZING. Our little Firebolt didn't seem to care though, she stayed in and played, played, played.

See the rock in Bimmer's hand? He spent the majority of his time searching for rocks to throw in the stream.  He was a machine and not to be deterred.

Here's a couple that Q shot while I was grilling.

He loved playing with the tadpoles
And if the kids weren't outside (which they were almost the entire time), they vegged out and watched TV...We don't have cable or anything at home.  We have a TV and a DVD player, but no stations.  So, this was pretty fun for them.

Here's a few from our hike at Fort Mountain State Park

And we stopped by one of our favorite restaurants (Moe's) on the way home.

Chip Inspector

Monday, April 2, 2012

Birthday Boy Video

As promised...even though quite a bit later, here's a video of HDB's birthday party.