Stormy Niagara – October 2010

This month’s image in my 12from2010 project was taken during my recent tour of Canada – Specifically Niagara, Tornoto in this shot.

A fall gallery of images from my trip can be found at this link www.westyphotography.com/travel/canada/

Niagara_tonemapped.jpg

 

I arranged my trip for September/October to ensure that I caught Canada in it’s ‘Fall’ colour scheme – I certainly got some lovely Landscape shots of the snow capped Rockies with Yellow, Brown and Green foliage in the foreground (earlier on in my trip in Alberta and B.C.) – The downside was that good weather was not guaranteed…

However, as a Photographer, bright blue skies are not always what you are after. This month’s shot of Niagara’s two falls (Canadian Horseshoe falls in the foreground, US falls in the distance) was taken 15 minutes or so before the heavens opened.

I set-up my D300 + 11-16 2.8 (thanks Dave!) on a small tripod, balanced on a wall, and took a total of 5 shots at different exposures to ensure that I had recorded all the detail in the dark sky, as well as the bright foreground.

As you can see from 3 of the 5 original shots below, this needed some work to get to the finished article I was after;

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Next step was to bring all 5 images into Photomatix Pro to combine the different exposures to produce a single tonemapped image.

I then exported this as a TIFF file, which I opened in Photoshop RAW and added contrast and colour boosts where I saw fit using PhotoTools 2.

It is a fair bit of work, but I think the finished image is worth the effort.

I know that this HDR process is not to everyone’s taste, but I think when it isn’t overdone the effect can be very striking – I hope you think it works here!