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Old 02-15-2010, 03:19 PM
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bmukherjee bmukherjee is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 244
Default To jpinkham: Yes...

Hello Jim,

Thanks very much for your thoughtful critique! The technique you suggested would have definitely brought detail into the opposite bank if I used a film camera.

It turns out that, unlike medium format film, digital cameras have insufficient dynamic range to bring detail in the brightest highlights - even when metered in the midtones. Moreover (like you said), it's nearly impossible to create the GND effect in one exposure, without actually using one.

However, when shooting for HDR, I take 3 exposures. The 'standard' exposure is taken just as you mentioned - metered in the bright midtones. The other two are +2 stops above and -2 stops below the standard.

The brightest exposure (and therefore the original HDR output) did contain detail in the shadows. In fact, take a look at the original HDR. Apart from the fact that it lacks contrast, notice the detail on the opposite shore is a bit of a distraction. So, all I did was increase the contrast and blacks in LR to turn it into a silhouette. I think I might have overdone it, though...

The great thing about HDR is that you don't have to worry about the placement (or strength) of the GND filter. The bad thing is HDR photos entail a lot of post-shooting work and can be incredibly ugly if misprocessed. That said, I am considering buying a GND at some point...

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