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August 28, 2008


West Virginia Photo Trip Part 3: Red Barn HDR

by josephrossbachphoto

I wanted to share some images of this old red barn I found south of Canaan Valley on the first morning of the trip. I had finished up shooting sunrise in the state park and needed to head south towards Seneca Rocks to prepare for my afternoon hike at North Fork Mountain. I’ll get to the North Fork Mountain Hike in a couple of days. So anyway, as I was driving south on Rt. 32 I spotted this red barn sitting on a hill. It was still very early in the morning and the light was soft but complex. The field was in deep shade while the sky and some of the trees were brightly lit. Right of the bat I knew HDR would be a perfect solution for the complex lighting scenario. Lets get to the images shall we.

For the first image in the series I used my wide angle 12-24mm set at 12 to capture the entire scene. I wanted to place the fence into the lower section of the frame and have the barn sitting in the upper 2/3 of the image. I needed maximum depth of field for this image to ensure the fence post and the barn were both tact sharp. Stopping down to f16 I held down my depth of field preview button and focused the lens until both were pretty sharp. I then closed down the aperture 1 more f-stop to f22 to maximize the depth in the image. I set my camera to Auto exposure Bracketing for 7 frames at .7ev intervals. Using 3d Matrix metering, I set my base exposure and went trough the process of recording all 7 frames ( making sure to use mirror lock-up for each shot to kill any in camera vibrations). This images was processed in Photomatix HDR and tone mapped. After Photomatix, the shot was brought into Lightroom V2 for the final touches.

Same steps as the image above, but only shot vertically. I try to make a habit of shooting all scenes in horizontal and vertical formats. You never know which format will be preferred by an art director or editor.

for this last image in the series, I used my Lensbaby G3. I like to use a little creative excersise in the field of taking a lens or posotion completly oposite of the original capture. For example, If i shot the scene with my wide angle lens and I was happy with the results, I will go ahead and throw on my 70-200mm and see what kind of image I can make of the exact same scene. its a great exercise that will really get your creative juices flowing. So for this shot after I had made a number of images with the 12-24mm, I slapped on the Lensbaby with a very wide open aperture to throw much of the scene out of focus. Using the control points on the front of the lens really allowed me to accurately set the point of focus. Once again, I recorded 7 frames at .7ev intervals and then processed the image with Photomatix and Lightroom V2.

Hope you enjoyes todays posting and I will be back again tomorrow with some brand new images from the wolds of West Virginia.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Aug 28 2008

    Just a note to let you know I enjoy reading your blog. I like the first barn shot with the fence the best. I see in your image processing info that you use .7ev intervals. Do you see a difference using .7ev vice 1.0ev intervals? Very nice images on your website too…
    Sam Gray

  2. mountaintrailphoto
    Aug 29 2008

    Sam, thanks for stopping in and thanks for the kind words. Yeah the first shot in the series is my favorite as well. I don’t see there to be a very big difference between .7 and 1 ev. I was actually just experimenting with different setting and it happened to work quite well. Most of the time I will shoot 5 frames at 1ev intervals. HDR is a new realm for me and I am still learning what works best with capture and post processing.

  3. Randy Sanger
    Sep 22 2008

    Joe, I really enjoy your website and admire your work. Have you photographed the old barn on the Beall Trail in the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge? Seems that would be a great candidate for HDR.


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