Vacations are wonderful, as they give us time to unwind from our daily stressors, explore new locations, meet people in these places and generally recharge our batteries. Of course, the photographers among us (isn’t that nearly everyone these days?) come back with lots of pictures to remind us of some of the things that we encountered.
One of the things that I like to do in my photographic adventures is to capture exposure bracketed sequences. In the past, I have processed those with HDRsoft’s Photomatix Pro, a program that I have enjoyed for years. As there were a couple of hiccups with the program yesterday, I decided to look and see what else is out there these days, and found Aurora HDR…
This image of Torc Waterfall nearby Killarney is the first one that I processed with Aurora HDR. The process was pretty straightforward, as there are a significant number of pre-loaded collections of settings. I used a ‘Better Sunrise’ setting as a starting point and tweaked contrast and HDR enhancement sliders to get to this point. Clearly, there’s more to explore for me in Aurora HDR, but it’s not a bad first effort.
In my second image, I decided to go for something a bit more aggressive…
For this image of a tree that has been growing in the center of Ross Abbey for centuries, I went to the Artistic collection and picked the Muddy Black & White setting as a starting point; I set the opacity to about 80% to let a bit of color bleed through and then went after tweaks in contrast and microstructure to get to this result. I wanted a sense of something older and somewhat mysterious, which now makes me want to go back and spend more than the 15-20 minutes we had at this abbey!
A Fresh Perspective
Photography is more than just a vehicle for capturing the world around me; it provides me with a palette and a set of brushes, with which I paint not only what I see, but also look to express the emotions that are evoked by the scene in front of me in that moment.
Growing up in the Netherlands exposed me to a wide cross-section of visual arts that laid the foundation of my photographic view of all that surrounds me. Early influences were the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, to whom I was introduced by my grandfather during museum explorations; favorites among them are the scenes of quotidian life depicted by Jan Steen and Frans Hals and the vivid landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael.
My classical high school education was supplemented by the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, where I spent many a lunch hour exploring its great collection. Here I was introduced to surrealism with a particular love for the approach taken by Salvador Dali; Dali also rekindled my appreciation for the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who often showed the folly of us mortals.
My approach to any photographic subject is to look for understanding first; in this I look to establish either a connection between the viewer and the subject or capture the connection of the subject with its surroundings. The captured image then aims to portray this connection from a perspective that is part of my personal interpretation.
This interpretation is often a form of externalized introspection, which may alternately display the connection of isolated beings and items with their environment or highlight the whimsy of the profound world, in which we find ourselves. The universe is full of connections, many of which are waiting to be discovered; part of my journey as a photographer is to document these connections.
Any assignment, be it an event, a product shoot or a portrait session is always approached through communication with the client; this is where the first connection is established. Ideas are exchanged and a collaborative plan of action forms, ultimately resulting in a set of images that aim to exceed the expectations of each client.
And, lest we forget, it is important to have fun while practicing the serious business of photography!
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16 thoughts on “Processing Ireland – Part 1”
That’s fantastic. Thanks for the step-by-step as I am such a novice. Both photos look amazing.
Thank you! Glad to hear that you enjoy this.
Beautiful…..to me the photo enhances the tree as the center of life….from where all is nurtured in breath 🙂
Thank you very much for your kind words.
you’re welcome 🙂
the second one is really mysterious, love it! Don’t listen to the many people who hate lightroom and photoshop etc, this are the people usually that even don’t know what ISO or diafragma means, or even don’t get what we see with the eye is never the same like you see on the picture(pixels). It’s not a crime to see photography in it’s art form, and not only the memory. Traveling is great, and it’s good you take the time to explore new techniques:). Thumps up amigo! Cheers Stef
Thank you very much, Stef! I enjoy extracting something more than just what can be seen from my photographs. I’m pretty happy with the tree image, although it does make me want to go back and shoot it with better light than I had.
Lovely images. Isn’t it great when you play around and make a fantastic result 🙂
Thank you very kindly, Brian!
I love what you’ve created with the processing of your second image especially Frank, it seems to bring the history of the place alive. I’m not familiar with Aurora and will check it out 🙂
Thank you, Xenia. Aurora does have a 10-day free trial period. One of the things that I like already, is that I can create my own preset collection and can then see how they work on other images.
That sounds wonderful! 😁
Wow. That waterfall is awesome!
I am Novice to nature photography your blog is quite insightful.
Thank you very much!!