Archive for the ‘Kauai’ Category

HDR (High Dynamic Range)

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography has become very popular and very controversial. Put simply it is a technique that allows the photographer to capture a wider range of light that corresponds more closely with what the eye can see. Without getting too bogged down in numbers, the eye can see up to 20 f-stops. Digital cameras can capture 7-10 f-stops. Don’t worry about the numbers here. Point is that the eye and brain are much better at seeing than our cameras are. With HDR photography you shoot at least three images: one properly exposed, one over exposed, and one under exposed. Then using photoshop you merge the images into a single image and are able to capture more accurately what the eye can see. You are also able to create some pretty weird looking stuff – one reason for the controversy.

Wanting to add this skill to our tool kit Bob and I went out a few days ago to shoot Waimea canyon. Turns out it was a good thing we went when we did as it has been raining ever since. The canyon was a great place to experiment because with shadows and highlights it has a huge dynamic range.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the images. The first is the properly exposed single image. The second is the HDR image.

At the Edge of the World

Friday, January 1st, 2010

Another Kauai image. Don’t know for sure what it is about this that feels compelling to me. Would welcome any comments you may have.

At the Edge of the World

Reflections

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Another image from the same pre-sunrise walk.

Reflections

This one was taken a bit later, but still before sunrise.

The Magic of Kauai

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

The island of Kauai has always had an almost spiritual power for me. The challenge of photographing this spectacularly beautiful island is to find a way to move beyond the obvious, and much photographed, beauty. My goal is to find a way to evoke a feeling of wonder from those who view my photographs.

On our most recent trip I managed to get several unexpected shots. Like so much of life, showing up is the first requirement. On the first morning of our month-long stay Bob and I woke before dawn, saw from the clock that it was 6:30 (sunrise was at 7:10), fell into our clothes, grabbed our cameras, and headed for the door. Once outside we realized that it was really very dark. Way too dark to be so close to sunrise.

We looked at each other and said, what time is it? Turns out that the clock was an hour off. Instead of 6:30 it was 5:30 – well, 5:45 by then. Instead of going back inside we decided to do our customary walk backwards, starting out on sidewalks instead of lava. Uneven lava in the dark seemed like a bad idea.

As we rounded the corner to head for the ocean this is what we saw:

mgmason-1-2

Before sunrise and just before the new moon. We would never have thought to plan it.