Daylight HDR On A Hazeless Blue Day

Riverbank 1 Bluish calmness of the lake beneath a clear sky

Pagoda 2 Lush greenery mirrored by the reflections in the lake

I recently went prancing around with my camera (and the guy) again. I decided I had to take advantage of the return of the clear blue sky, lest it gets sabotaged by unexpected natural calamities again.

I’ve taken pictures at the Chinese Garden many times before – during an outdoor photo shoot for my wedding, on a date with the guy for fun and laughter, with my family during the Lantern Festival, with friends for their photo shoots etc. One of those memorable moments (in my teenage years) was the time when I brought along my dad’s classic old film camera with me to the garden to take scenic shots of the idyllic and poetic spot. I still have these photos kept in a nice album at home; I still take them out once in a while to remind myself of my continuous love for and interest in photography.

This time round, instead of film photography, I’ve upgraded to using the 21st century photo taking cheat treats via the High Dynamic Range technique. My goal was to utilise the tone-mapping and post-processing tools to effect different feels and emotions of the same few selected sceneries, to accentuate my inner sentiments for the place where I grew up in.

Pagoda 3Dramatic presence of the pagoda rendered by the imposing presence of the sky

Riverbank 2b HDR effects of an uneventful riverbank in the garden

Riverbank 2aOil painted HDR effects of the same riverbank above

Pagoda 1bHDR effects of a view across the river horizon

Pagoda 1aDramatic HDR effects of the looming clouds across the river horizon

Bridge aHDR effects of the bridge to the garden gateway

Bridge bOil painted HDR effects of the same bridge above

Riverbank 3bHDR effects of a red boat with looming clouds cutting across the sky

Riverbank 3aDramatic HDR effects of the same view above

All of the images above demonstrate a contrast that I’ve created between more natural looking HDR photos and those purposely created for dramatic effects. The last two images are a little too overexposed due to the lack of underexposed images for processing the tone-mapping. There’s still a lot of room for improvement… which is why I am already planning for my next trip out!

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