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The Lone Cypress

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 16 March 2008 in Landscape & Rural.

I've found that Pebble Beach's famed Lone Cypress is photographable in both early and late light. The key is to not lose detail in the dark tones which is not an easy feat given the small latitude of film and digital. Now, thanks to an awesome software called Photomatix Pro, I've started solving this dilemma. This image is a combination of four exposures: +2EV , +1EV, OEV and -2EV. I've been using a Beta version - Photomatix Pro 3 (currently V.14). As you can see, the dark foliage in the foreground and the saturation of the clouds on the horizon produce exposure values which look natural to my eye. Human vision allows for a contrast range of 2000:1 (11 stops of light). Slide films like Fuji Velvia allowed for 4 stops (16:1) and the best digital sensors on the market today allow for 5 1/2 stops (45:1). Thus High Dynamic Range software will continue to play an important role in helping photographers produce images which better match their vision. Photoshop CS2 and CS3 contain versions of HDR , but in my opinion, they lack consistant results. Photomatix Pro produces results every time. The key for me is if the resulting HDR image looks natural as I believe this image does. If you would like more information on this exciting software, please visit their site at: HDRSoft. The software costs $100 (US dollars) but if you use my discount code (I am an affiliate): donsmithphotography at checkout, you'll receive a 15% discount. To see more of my images, please visit my website at Don Smith Photography

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