The DaVinci Gallery: Icarus

I recently made two trips to the DaVinci Machines Exhibition in Denver. In the coming days I’ll be sharing some of my shots from these excursions (and trying to resist the urge to talk too much about what it is I think I’m doing). We’ll begin with this, one of my favorites.

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The DaVinci Gallery: a Study in High Dynamic Range

Lately I’m working not only on my actual camera ability, but also on better understanding the technology of processing images. Friday I spent a couple of hours in the DaVinci Machines Exhibit in Denver working on both composition and technical skills (shooting in lower light, for instance) and doing so with an eye toward how I’d be outputting the images later. Interesting results.

I bracketed everything I shot (three exposures: -3, 0 and +3) to enable composite High Dynamic Range (HDR) processing. For those who don’t know these terms (an audience that included me three months ago), bracketing is a process where the camera takes three (usually) exposures – with one slightly overexposed and one underexposed – so that the images can then be composited using image processing software (in this case, Photomatix). The result: “a greater dynamic range between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than current standard digital imaging methods or photographic methods.”

The sequence below comprises five different takes on the same raw image of DaVinci’s inclinometer. First, the basic shot, fine tuned a bit in Photoshop.

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