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HDR Revisited (My 100th Post. Woo Hoo!)

Like many budding photographers do, I became fascinated by HDR images and wanted to try it out. And like many novice HDR enthusiasts I pushed the look a bit too far for the first while… getting caught up in the novelty and excitement of creating that HDR look. That much maligned, by professionals and purists alike, look. This is what Gavin Seim affectionately refers to as the Flickr HDR. He even created a Lightroom preset for it. And all his cheeky cohorts applauded his razor sharp wit. Pishaw on the amateur HDR hacks!

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35mm Flashbacks

I still have a few 35mm film cameras, and I put a roll through them from time to time. Each time I do, though, I am reminded of two things- how spoiled we are by the digital format and, as a result, what a waste of money shooting film is unless you are a real photographer (who prefers film for whatever reason). What I mean is, for a typical shutterbug like me, I am not frugal with my shutter button. Heck, I’ll often snap away indiscriminately, chimping my LCD from time to time, and come back from even a few hours at the park with my kids with somewhere like 60 – 100 shots on my memory card. But then if at some point in time I load a 24 exposure roll of 35mm film into one of my cameras to take a stroll down memory lane or whatever, of course I tend to look at it differently.

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That Soft Desaturated Portrait Look

megan, by fadedfilmstrips (rockie nolan)
This is an example of that popular look that is so beautiful for various styles of outdoor portraits. This one was on Flickr, originally uploaded by Rockie Nolan. It’s a very soft and pleasing look. Also very popular in wedding photography. Usually shot fairly wide open with a fast lens, usually in good natural light, and then post-processed in a way to desaturate some or all of the colours, and perhaps other tweaks to contrast and detail/sharpening. Vignetting is often also added. I also see a lot of experimentation with flare in images like this, with strongly backlit subjects. I like it.

Lightroom Preset: The Lomo Look

Click to enlarge

I’m such a sucker for trendy looks and post processing techniques. I’ve come across quite a few talented photographers on Flickr that have a certain look to their images- mostly portraits, and mostly outdoors- and it can be somewhat dramatic (like a lomo or cross-processed look) or quite subtle (kind of a desaturated look with boosted contrast). I tried to play around in Lightroom to get these effects and was pretty unsuccessful at first. The one I liked the most was the more subtle look. It was like the tonal range and contrast were slightly boosted in these portraits, but the colours were muted as if they had been bleached out a bit. Maybe it was only certain colours that were desaturated. I don’t know for sure. I just couldn’t get it right- but it looked so darned simple!

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The Whimsical Image

Tripods are for pussies!

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