Last night I was working on a deadline for the PhotographyBB March Magazine issue (check for that to come out shortly – another couple weeks), and found myself trolling through my archives of images searching for examples to help illustrate my point. I came across a shoot I did solo a while back where I was down in South Carolina. I was on a dock trying to catch the fading sun to the west, and catching your stereotypical sunsets in SC isn’t easy because there’s too much LAND in the way…not enough water!
This was actually where I first learned the value of checking your entire surroundings because sometimes the best shot may be behind you. I turned around and caught this image:
Nice enough, but not really something I wanted to include in a portfolio of sorts to include in the now well-known PhotographyBB Magazine! Then I noticed something…apparently I had tried multiple exposure settings while on a tripod…I was bracketing! I had the same f-stop, same ISO, but the shutter speed was changing. Back then I was shooting with my venerable XT (now sold), and the whole idea of bracketing and even HDR was just not even close to being on my radar. Yet here I am now years later, trolling through archives with an opportunity to go back in time.
So, I pulled the 4 or 5 images together, cobbled them over to Photomatix and ran some tone mapping (didn’t even look at the settings, just was testing a whim to see if it would produce anything). Well, let’s just say it was…interesting. It clearly showed my sensor was absolutely filthy (sky splotches everywhere), and I clearly hadn’t learned the fine tuning of checking the edges or even cutting off important lines (like ship masts) from the composition. Nevertheless, the result was…accidentally interesting. I’ll leave it to you to judge: