August 22, 2009

Ghost town Como in HDR

Como is a dying town. It's not quite a ghost town yet. There are still about a dozen or so people living in the town. Unfortunately, the train station I wanted to photograph was closed to public. I even tried to find a way to sneak around the fencing, with no luck.

Fortunately, there were a number of old buildings in various states of disrepair for me to photograph.

Brief recap about HDR - HDR is a compilation of 4-8 images in a succession of exposures, laid over one another to create an image that can be very true to life. It can also be manipulated to be hypersurreal.

This is an image of a building I shot at perfect exposure - 0.0.

Now, I also shot this building at -0.5, -1.0, -1.5 (underexposed) and +0.5, +1.0, +1.5 (overexposed). I used Photoshop's program to merge the images for me. As a side note for the user of PS3 - apparently, its HDR merging program isn't very good, and there are better ones out there. If this is a technique you want to seriously pursue, investigate alternatives.

Anyway, back on track. After I ran the hdr merge feature, this is one of the results I got. It's harsher, which works well for this sort of image. However, it's not really exciting.

So I tweaked various things and got this...
It's not quite hypersurreal, but it's a lot more interesting. I could've pushed this further and come out with even more bizarre results, but sometimes that's just over top and can be a turnoff. Additionally, if you look closely, it's obvious that by making these tweaks, I lost some details that really makes this building interesting, like the wavy, warped sideboards along the side and the plywood in the windows.

Looking this over, I prefer the first HDR results because I can see more potential in it, as far as photo manipulation, like making it look vintage and vignetted - much like what I did with my niece's photo. I will try find a happy medium between the two though, and see how it looks first though

Incidentally - I photoshopped behind this old ramshackle one out. See original to compare.

I'll have more pictures later.

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