Junkyard HDR Outing

_DSC9984_HDRThe Oakville Camera Club is heading to Maclean’s Auto Wreaking Yard on Saturday, May 28. The yard is in Rockwood, Ont. a short drive from Oakville. Don’t forget to wear good footwear (hiking boots if you have them or bring a change of running shoes for driving home in dry shoes) and bring water and maybe a sandwich. Bug spray is a good idea but watch where you’re spraying it around your cameras and lenses. Also bring sun screen.

Auto wreaking yards are great places to try out HDR photography. I took international photographer Rick Sammon’s HDR course at the wreaking yard a few years ago and we came back with some great images._DSC0967

Thanks to HDR software post processing is almost as simple as pushing a button.

You can shoot cars and wreckage but you can also shoot HDR portraits as well.

For the best results bring a tripod as you’re going to be shooting a series of time exposures ranging from as long as a couple of seconds (especially if it’s a cloudy day or your shooting under the cover of trees) to 1/50. You can use your camera’s self-timer or a remote cable.

With your camera on a tripod and set to manual, use your light meter to dlm3_thumb.jpgetermine what shutter speeds you want to adjust. I’ll often start with my first exposure at as long as 30 seconds with my aperture fixed at f/11 or f/16 and my ISO at 50 or 100. Then I’ll shoot a series of exposures of shorter and shorter times again not changing the aperture setting.

You can also use your camera’s auto-bracketing mode but I find shooting in manual mode and manual focus is just as easy.

Your standard kit lens or a wide angle lens will work best. If you’ve got a macro lens bring it for shooting smaller items.

You can get away with as few as three shots but five or six different exposures should give you a wide enough series of exposures to create really amazing HDR images.  You can shoo_DSC9612_HDRt more shots extending the exposure range but too many images will result in longer and longer processing times.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet we change the shutter speed since changing the aperture on each exposure will affect the focus point.

It’s best to take your camera off auto focus and switch to manual to ensure the focus doesn’t change during your sequence of shots as well.

As for software I use NIK’s HDR EFEX (which is now free) but Photomatrix ($99) is also very popular.

I have posted quite a bit about HDR in previous posts so please use the search feature on this blog for more information on shooting HDR.

BTW I am planning on attending this event in Milton so if you need some help don’t hesitate to ask any questions.

HDR Video

How To Shoot HDR



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