Beach House


For the past two weeks I have subjected you to the output of my Lightroom 4 and Photomatix Pro 4.2 learning trajectory. With the former I have been mostly figuring out how to correct different levels, apply masks, and so on. The latter, until today, has concentrated on tone mapping single images from Haida Gwaii. Starting today and for the next while I will showing some of my early efforts at HDR, using Photomatix. Many of these images are tweaked in Lightroom as well, usually after HDR processing. I am pretty much sticking to black and white for now – I like the effect in black and white, and there are fewer controls to come to grips with than for colour processing.

Today’s images are of a small “boat house” on what locals call Pebble Beach  found in one corner of Harling Point. I am sure at one time it was a boat house, but any such structure this close to the beach is no longer allowed and they are often quietly repurposed but never torn down because they cannot be replaced once gone. In the winter, on a long weekend, I saw a nearby water’s edge deck being replaced. I wonder if it is impossible to get permits to maintain these structures.

My camera will only shoot 3 brackets at a time. Sometimes that has not seemed like enough, or as if I am not getting a good exposure the first time, and I reset the exposure manually and shoot again.  Therefore, these images are combined from between 3 and 6 brackets. On this day I had the brackets set at +/-  2/3 of an f-stop, probably too little with only 3 brackets to get all the detail I was looking for with the fairly high contrast black and white processing.

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Canon 5Dii, Canon 50mm/1.4 and Nikkor-N 24mm/2.8 lenses, all +/-  EV 0.66

  • First – 24mm, 4 images
  • Second – 50mm, 3 images
  • Third – 24mm, 3 images
  • Fourth – 50mm, 3 images
  • Fifth – 24mm, 6 images

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16 thoughts on “Beach House

  1. Love the B&W HDR shots. I’ve spent some time messing with HDR on my Nikon and Photoshop (and Photomatix, like you) – I’m quite impressed. I have a 30-year-old Nikkor 18mm (manual, of course) that I’m playing with now and having some fun. I need to spend some time here on your site – you’ve inspired me. I’m shooting a series on Vancouver’s Commercial Drive in the coming weeks, and this series has given me some ideas. Ta.

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    • Hi Randolph – thanks for looking around my blog, and commenting. I am glad you find some inspiration in my work, that is a real compliment! I have been itching for a wider lens the last while – that 18mm would fit the bill perfectly, I must keep my eye open for an old one.
      I had a look around your website – there are some very fine photographs posted and I will be back. However, I will have to remember to turn my speakers off – I felt aurally ambushed by the audio track on your website since I was listening to music on my computer at quite a high volume. Even so, it is worth coming back for more of your photos and I intend to.

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      • I was lucky enough to secure the ‘old’ 18mm from a friend who was transitioning over to Canon from his Nikon series. Ironically, I may be headed the other way at some point in the near future. No issue with Nikon, but I’ve been greatly impressed with the recent developments in the Canon camp, especially in the auto-focus department. We’ll see. And by the way, the audio on my website can be adjusted (different tracks or ‘off’ completely) in the lower right corner. Cheers!

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  2. You have no idea how exciting this post is for me! What FABULOUS images here, Ehpem, you’ve done a wonderful job with your captures and processing! I love HDR done in B&W as you have shared here, it brings out so much great details that would otherwise be hidden in broad contrast. I am so excited to see you dabbling with this and cannot wait to see more as I think you’ve got a great handle on it! Well done, my friend!

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    • Thanks so much Toad – you have a very deft hand with HDR, so I am very happy that you like these shots. More like this are coming for the next few days. Quite a few others have been binned as I find the limitations of the methods (like ghosting of moving water, right in front of this cabin – just too complicated to deal with right now).

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    • Hi Val – its a very nice part of Victoria. I would love to live in the house that also owns this beach cabin (it can be seen in the background in my last image). The views are terrific too.

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  3. Another nice series as you master your way through the new software. i like the second photo best. It’s a beautiful land / seascape that is very appealing.

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    • Hi Ken – I am a bit surprised you like that one the best. I find it a bit sparkly in the vegetation, though the effect goes well with the water that was ablaze with light. It is a very nice small little beach, and on a day like this it is idyllic place. My place is half a block from the beach house – sadly not on the waterfront, but the price difference in that half block is up to 5 times greater.
      This is from a series I shot to try out a new video tripod head (birthday present:) ) on a panorama series. I don’t have good software to stitch photos, so it ended up not being a successful effort, but I shot it all with a narrow bracket range thinking it might help with finding the best adjacent exposures for stitching.

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      • I have an old (v5) version of Photoshop Elements that did a nice job with panoramas. I’m sure the later versions (I think they’re up to v10 now) are even much better and you can pick up Elements for about $75 at Amazon. It’s fantastic for the price.

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      • Hi Ken, thanks for the tip. I am going to want to do something like that pretty soon. The documentation project I am doing with the local archaeology society involves a lot of images I would like to stitch together. I have some software that came with my camera, but it is quite limited. Looks like version 10 has some good features for talking with LR4 as well – like being able to open a file with LR4 edits in place (or without).
        Still, I should probably do some a bit more research. I am a bit worried that if I keep on buying these components that I will end up spending more than if I had bought a full package like CS6.

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  4. I love the first image of the house. It looks like either a great-quality lens or it’s been lens-corrected. I love the mixture of hard, straight lines and soft tone gradients around the sky. Perfectly balanced.

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    • Hi James. Thank you!
      That is my 40 year old Nikon wide-angle – it is a nice lens, but does suffer from distortion – a pretty typical amount I think. I did not lens-correct – its not something I have done yet – so I think it is probably the angle that masks the distortion. A couple of weekends ago I rented a 24mm tilt shift lens for a project I am helping document – it had absolutely no distortion – amazing lens. I have some photos from that lens coming up, as I had to (try to) learn how to use it, and had it for the long weekend.

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