Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Images and Impressions of Canon’s 5D Mark 3 HDR Feature: and Easy GPS in Lightroom 4

Good Morning Everyone,

SnapshotAfter getting yesterday's blog posted, we headed out to see the sights in Washington, DC area. Our first stop was at the Duncan Phillips Museum which was showing an exhibition entitled Snapshot: Painters and Photography, Bonnard to Vuillard [link].

Several of the leading painters and printmakers of the day used photography to record their public spheres and private lives, producing surprising, inventive results. Combining over 200 photographs with approximately 70 paintings, prints, and drawings from renowned international collections, Snapshot: Painters and Photography, Bonnard to Vuillard focuses on the dynamic relationship among the artists’ work in various media.

Surprisingly, although I enjoyed the exhibition, I enjoyed even more photographing the interior spaces around the museum.

HDR CAnon M3I was getting a kick out of using the new HDR feature on my brand-new Canon 5D Mark III camera. I was kind of like a kid in a candy store framing up each image, pressing the shutter release, waiting my 10 seconds, and seeing these very cool HDR results.

I thought today I'd share a few of those images with you. I also thought I would give you my quick impressions of the new HDR features on the new Canon 5D Mark 3.

Images and Impressions of Canon’s 5D Mark 3 HDR Feature

1. I've never really given HDR much of a try. I've always been busy with so many other aspects of my photography that, although I would've loved to give it a try in years past, it just never fit into my schedule. Now with the new Canon 5D Mark 3 it is nearly effortless to capture images in HDR. 

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I know some of the HDR purists out there are probably rolling your eyeballs right about now. You're thinking, "Oh my gosh, set it and forget it instant HDR – here we go again!"  Well folks, that's the deal for me and I’m lovin’ it!  The fact is; that I'm really enjoying seeing my own HDR images for the first time. Sure, the camera is doing all the work for me but it has opened my eyes up to the possibilities of creating HDR images for myself and for my clients.

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I bet before long I'll be using the standard HDR features in Lightroom and Photoshop and giving NIK Software's HDR Efex Pro and Photomatics a serious try as well. But, for the time being I'm getting a real kick out of using the simple HDR feature on my new camera.

2. I've been trying different options within the HDR dialogue on the camera. I have ranged the bracketing from auto, where the camera selects the exposure range for the finished HDR image and from ± one stop all the way up to ± three stops. Without making this too much of a scientific experiment, I'm not seeing a big difference between all the settings.

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Intuition tells me that the three stop setting when compared to the one stop setting should give me quite a bit more detail in the shadows. If I look closely I can see the difference but, as I said, I had to look very closely. I was really quite surprised by how easy it is to get these cool HDR photos. I know, I know - the HDR aficionados eyeballs are rolling once again.

3.  The other thing I'm learning is that subject matter is important when composing for a final HDR image. It seems to me that the more contrast range in the image the better the HDR result will be. I also found as I experimented yesterday that I like tungsten lighting situations to be my favorite HDR subjects.

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I also find that I like the auto white balance setting when I'm in these tungsten lighting situations. Maybe it's just the visually exciting reds and orange colors in the scene that I like when I shoot my HDR images in this way. In any case, I find these images to be the most visually exciting for me.  Having said that, setting the camera to Tungsten and shooting daylight can also give you some very cool results.

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4.  I discovered something else quite unusual in yesterday's shooting experience. There were a few times when I was making my HDR exposures and one of the museum guests would walk through the image. Since it takes three images to create the final HDR image, the subject is in three positions during the three different exposures.

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Although I have the images self align and I'm shooting these images handheld, the computer in the camera understandably has difficulty aligning the pixels of the moving subject. The result is quite interesting. For me, the camera technology creates a very otherworldly kind of an image with the moving person appearing ghostly in the completed composition. I've blogged one of my favorite images from yesterday’s shoot in my image of the day post.

5.  All in all I'm finding this HDR shooting to be quite fun. Like I said, maybe I'm just a kid in a candy store playing with the new toy but it's still a kick. It gives my imagination a brand-new playground in which to play and experiment and I am thoroughly enjoying my new sandbox.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention it.  The museum was SOOOO impressed with my images, I now have a collection of my images on display at the entrance of the Duncan Phillips Museum ;~) Well not really…. but I did suggest that they should be interested in featuring my images at the museum.

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Want some more info on the 5D Mk3 HDR features and more, check out Michael James blog right here.

Easy GPS In Lightroom 4

Load Track LogBTW gang, I’m also trying out the new GPS features of Lightroom 4. I downloaded an app to my iPhone named GeoTagPhotos. The app let us track everywhere we traveled yesterday. At the end of the day, even though this app was a severe drain on battery power on my iPhone, I was still able to easily email the GPX data file from the app to myself.

At this point, it was easy to drop the file into Lightroom 4 and then sync up the GPS in Lightroomtime/date data of my images with the location data from the GPX file and see where we traveled -very cool! 

What can I say, between experimenting with my brand-new HDR shooting, playing with my new Canon lens and gearing-up the techy GPS tracking feature I had a FABULOUS shooting experience traveling around a small part of DC yesterday.


Hey gang, that's it for me today. LaDawn and I have one more day off to spend in Washington. LaDawn arranged, through our congressmen, a tour of the Capital today. Our tour of the White House and tea with Michelle disappointingly fell through ;~)  But I know we'll enjoy seeing the other sites in this fascinating, historic and exhilarating city.

RasikaIndianThis evening we plan to have dinner at Rasika, not only one of the best Indian restaurants in the Washington, DC area but also one of the highest acclaimed restaurants in the country according to John Marinai’s review in Esquire Magazine a few years ago!.

It'll be my third visit and LaDawn’s second but each time has been a wonderful dining experience. If you ever get a chance to make the trip to Washington, DC be sure to check out Rasika your taste buds will thank you.

On that note gang, we're out of here. Have a great rest the day and I'll see you tomorrow back in Edgewood, KY.

Namastay Ji everybody, David


  1. I've recently started playing with HDR too, but I'm only using software, mostly Photomatix. I've gotten a few ghostly cars in my shots. I discovered that Photomatix can remove ghosts like that automatically or you can have it just focus on a certain area yourself.

  2. Love these images.

  3. "HRD Photography by David A. Ziser"
    it's not true?