About My Photography
To me, patience and dedication are key to capturing amazing images. Yes, there are a few places that a person can go, step out of the car and just snap a fantastic photograph. But more often than not, when people take that approach, what comes back from the lab or the printer is disappointing. We've all seen those pictures from people's trips: "Well, you can't tell here, but the colors in the canyon were amazing" or "The sky is a little washed out in this picture, but the waterfall really was beautiful." Learning when and how to photograph certain subjects takes time and energy. I have found that the best time of day to photograph just about everything is during the warm, soft light of early morning (from a little before sunrise to a few hours after) and late afternoon to sunset. Unfortunately, that leaves a sizable chunk of each day pretty unimpressive, photographically speaking.
Fortunately, there are several exceptions to this general rule of only shooting during the "magic hours" that I find make the most of any photography outing. With High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography techniques, I find that it's possible to take advantage of many new photographic possibilities. Certain scenes are impossible to capture midday without using the multiple exposures that are essential to effective HDR images. For example, take an interior shot of a church with outdoor details visible through the windows. The difference in brightness between the shadowy interior details and the outside sunlight is far too much for any camera to capture. With HDR, it is possible to combine multiple exposures into one image. If done well, it's possible to capture what the human eye sees, even though the camera cannot do so.
As an added bonus, the technique can really make images look magical, especially when printed large. This image of the bicycle in the rain certainly didn't need a HDR treatment, but that's part of what gives a "painterly" feeling.