Does Fall Foliage Make for Good HDR?

One of the best tips I’ve ever received is to look all around for photos – even in your own back yard.  Over the weekend, while on the daily dog walk, a few scenes happened to catch my eye.  Not satisfied with what the camera phone could do, I quickly came back to the house and got the SLR out.  A few minutes later, started capturing some of the scenery that remained of the fall foliage that is still present at the lower elevations.  The next thing I knew, I was looking up, looking down, looking behind me, and poof – I had a whole new set of images for a “fall foliage” collection!  These are the types of images that definitely benefit from some subtle HDR processing both to enhance the colors, as well as bring some light to shadowed areas while allowing for the lighter whites of the clouds.  Here’s some of the scenes I captured from just this one outing:

Yellow and Blue

Yellow and Blue

Iydillic Scene

Iydillic Scene

Orange, Red, and Blue

Orange, Red, and Blue

Yellow, Green, and Blue

Yellow, Green, and Blue

Colors Colliding

Colors Colliding

Going Low

Going Low

As you can see, the subtle HDR processing really added something to the photos.  Is it good?  Is it bad?  As in most things artistic, there is something of a judgment call involved.  Perhaps an important side note here in learning more about composition is to realize that something came out of an otherwise normal exercise (taking the dog for a walk), and in looking all around yourself, images are available everywhere.  Where should you look for your next photo?  Right there!  You just have to know to look for it!

Happy shooting and we’ll see you back here again tomorrow!

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7 comments for “Does Fall Foliage Make for Good HDR?

  1. October 25, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Did you have any problems with doing an HDR with a moving target (ie leaves blowing in the wind)? Do you just shoot these rapid succession?

    • October 26, 2010 at 5:25 am

      HDR with moving objects can be tricky. For the best results there if there is a lot of movement, I’ll elect to use Photoshop CS5 with its HDR Pro functionality where you can select just one image to be used which helps eliminate the blur. I do shoot in rapid succession (bracketing exposures), but when the shutter speed dips below 1/100th, that often doesn’t matter…

  2. October 26, 2010 at 3:22 am

    Excellent topic, hdr really gave the photos some pop. What HDR App did you use? Photomatix? Looks great and so natural.

    • October 26, 2010 at 5:27 am

      Most of the time I do use Photomatix for my HDR – it’s an easy roundtrip with LR. For these though, I used Photoshop’s HDR Pro (CS5) because the wind was rather gusty, and the ghosting was pretty tough to battle in Photomatix

  3. October 26, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Good looks Jason! I don’t have much foliage in AZ. Bummer. I’ll keep watching your site for more. 🙂

  4. October 27, 2010 at 4:00 am

    That last image just sums it all up. Lovely colours and the HDR treatment is just right.

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