(Fake) HDR Photos

For a while now I’ve been thinking about upgrading my photo editing software. Right now I use mostly just the Canon Photo Professional software that came with my camera. I also use ArcSoft PhotoImpression 2000 (yes, as in made in 2000…).

Now, you should know that my father-in-law is pretty much in love with anything that is open source software, so about a year ago he suggested that I start using Gimp for my heavier editing. I’m pretty much in love with anything that I don’t have to recode to work with my computer, so I was hesitant (you don’t have to recode anything, that’s just what I was thinking at the time). I tried it once and just couldn’t get the hang of the menus and of not having toolbars with buttons. So I gave up.

Fast forward 6 months or so and you will see me sitting with my laptop, using Gimp on a regular basis. I got patient. I got motivated. I got the hang of it. Gimp isn’t really hard to use, it just takes some getting used to and some exploring of what different options and settings are actually for. It has a TON of features and is quite workflow-friendly.

Anyway, the ACTUAL point of this post is to share the new feature that I found in it. I’ve discovered (read: Googled) how to make (fake) HDR photos on it. I still need to play around with some of the settings a bit to get everything exactly as I want it, but they’re pretty good just on their own.

You do need to download one plug-in for this method, and the instructions may seem daunting the first time you try, but I’ve done just a few and can mostly get through it without looking back at the steps. Here is the tutorial that I went by – located on the Gimpology site.

There is actually another plug-in that I just found today that supposedly does Actual HDR photos on Gimp… but we’ll just have to see about that. 🙂

Here are my first three images.













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Creativity Challenge – Nighttime Flashlight Fun

Okay, so this ‘challenge’ was Really fun! I’ve been meaning to get out with a flashlight at night for a while now. I have a lockable remote switch now, so I can do blub exposures without having to stand there with my finger on the shutter button. All of these pictures were made using one small LED flashlight. The red light that you see is simply my finger over the end of the light.

I can’t wait to do this again… soon!

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Silhouette

In this week’s Photo Challenge we have been asked to share a silhouette – So I dug around a little and found a few of my favorites.

Casey Rhoten SilhouetteMy favorite dirt bike silhouette.

Blue Sky 2Not quite a true silhouette, but I still like it.

Eric 'Spike' Rhoten Over HeadAnother good almost-silhouette

A Vic Payne statue being assembled for display in my town. [He has made sculptures for places such as Cabela’s and has his work in several museums, as well]

Summer Culvert My daughter playing in a large culvert at a local recreation area.

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Fun With Exposure

Yesterday I decided to switch from manual mode to AV mode on my camera. [what does that MEAN??? – I set the aperture and everything else, the camera picks the shutter speed for the correct exposure] I was shooting inside with flash, but evidently my camera still didn’t feel it had enough light to make a normal exposure, instead it decided to put the shutter speed right around a second. Well, this would be okay for still pictures from a tripod, but I was trying to photograph crawling baby… needless to say, no tripod. The picture I ended up with was super blurry but, amazingly, there was enough light from the flash to freeze said crawling baby in the image. I got what looked like a good, old fashioned double-exposure.

So of course I switched back to manual mode to try to recreate a better version of this effect- first with the baby, and then messing around taking pictures of myself. Here are a few of the results.

Ivy Blurry Long Exposure

Long Exposure 1

Long Exposure 2

Long Exposure 3

So that was the camera fun from yesterday. I will surely be needing to experiment with this again soon.

Have you ever played with exposure effects? If not (and you have a dSLR) you really should.

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