Tag Archives: HDR

Weekly Picture Story – The Old Wagon Wheel

Wagon Wheel Was Not on My List That Day

I had heard about a new lavender farm close to where I live and I wanted to visit and shoot some lavender flowers while they were still in full bloom. Unfortunately, that day was not ideal as it was very windy and rain was in the forecast. I tried very hard to capture beautiful lavender flowers that day but nothing really came out that satisfied me. Who could have thought that an old wagon wheel was going to be my picture of the day.

The Wagon Wheel by the Side Wall

As I left and was walking back to my car, I noticed an old wagon wheel by the side wall of a building at that lavender farm. My attention was drawn to that wagon wheel and I decided that I would shoot that old wagon wheel and try to make a good picture out of it. Some subjects are just meant for HDR and sometimes HDR technique will give you something out of nothing. So I took two sets of 3 exposures at different angles and decided to go home and work on those files.

Before I started processing these files of the wagon wheel, I looked at the raw files and noticed that the pictures were not very representative of what I had seen. They seemed to be missing, color, contrast and structure just like raw files often do. So I decided to process them with Photomatix and give it a try to see what I would get out of these raw files. I did a few versions and stop when I was satisfied with one of the results. I always try to make on picture that satisfies me when I go on a shoot. My goal is to make a great picture out of ordinary subjects. HDR that day, did just that for that old wagon wheel.

Here Is My Favorite

Old Wagon Wheel

Old Wagon Wheel

You will notice that the raw file on the left does not reveal as much detail and structure as the processed file in Photomatix does. You will agree with me that this subject was a natural for an HDR image. Finally, that day out to shoot lavender was not a total write off, I was able to get one good image even if it’s not what I was going for.

Old Wagon Wheel

Raw File Crop

Old Wagon Wheel

HDR File Crop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally That Old Wagon Wheel Made My Day

 

Posted in Weekly Picture Story

Getting The Picture You Want

A couple of weeks ago, I spent a few days  in the Eastern Township region just to relax from busy schedule I had in the past few weeks. I had seen many times a particular tree in a field and I wanted to shoot it but it was never at the ideal time of the day.

The Magical Tree

Being off for 3 days, I knew that if I got there early when the sun gets up in would be the best time to shoot that tree, I had passed by a few times early in the morning and this was the ideal time to shoot that tree. So one morning I got up early and drove to that location so that I would be there 1/2 hour before the sun goes up. After a few minutes scouting the best place to stand, I installed my tripod and made all the necessary setup so that I would be ready when the best light shows up.

This picture is the result of 5 exposures taken with a 1-stop increment and process with Nik HDR Efex Pro. I used a Promote Control remote which facilitates the process of shooting HDR pictures. You can find more information about the remote on the following website Promote Control Systems.

I knew in advance that this was going to work for me. Not all landscape scenes are appropriate for HDR shooting but this one was and I knew in advance that it was a question of planning to get what I wanted. So don’t give in too early, many of us  have regretted at a certain point that we did not stop to shoot a particular scenery or subject. Sometimes it’s only about coming back at the right time of the day with the right light conditions, the right season or looking for a better location to shoot from. I have already a few pictures that I want to do in that area next year.

The only thing that was missing was my friend Louis Michel so that he could see with his own eyes that amazing 15 minutes that the morning light brings us. It’s like listening to Mozart!

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Great Places To Visit – The Neon Museum

The Neon Museum – Boneyard Section

The Neon Museum was establish as a non-profit organization in 1996 to collect preserve and exhibit neon signs, the classic Las Vegas art form. I had a chance to visit the museum and really enjoyed  this 1 hour tour. The neon bone yard is home to over 150 donated signs dating from the 1930. The tour is rich in history and anecdotes about  Las Vegas. If you have a chance you will love this tour.

 

Neon Museum

The Neon Museum

 

The Neon Museum – Tour Information

The information that follows was copied from their website for your info

Ticket prices at the Neon Museum are $18 for general admission; seniors, students, active military and veterans, and Nevada residents are $12 (must show current ID upon arrival).  Children ages 6 and under are free. The Neon Boneyard is available for guided tours Mondays through Saturdays starting at 10:00 a.m.

The one-hour tours run every half hour until sunset.  Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by advanced ticket purchase through the links above.  (Please note: due to the nature of our collection, the Neon Boneyard is only available to the public through one of our guided tours.)

 

The Neon Museum

The Neon Museum

 

The Neon Museum – Photography 

The information that follows was copied from their website for your information

Photography strictly for personal use is permitted on our tours.

Photography for any additional artistic or commercial use is strictly prohibited on tours.  For this reason, NO EQUIPMENT OTHER THAN A CAMERA IS ALLOWED ON TOURS.

Before You Visit, Please Be Advised:

  • No backpacks, camera bags, large bags or tripods are allowed on tours.
  • We recommend visitors wear close-toed shoes.
  • Neon Boneyard tours are guided tours; visitors must remain with their guide and group.  The yard contains broken glass and rusty metal.  Visitors are advised to be aware of their surroundings at all times for their safety and for the safety of our collection.
  • ANYONE FAILING TO FOLLOW GUIDELINES WILL KINDLY BE ASKED TO LEAVE.

 

Neon Museum

The Neon Museum

This is a great place to visit while you are in Vegas, take a camera and bring back some great pictures of the boneyard section.The only thing that bothered me is that you don’t have the freedom to shoot your are constantly ask by the tour guide to follow him.

I can understand that request from them as the sight is full of rusted metal and they need to have full control and make sure that people don’t hurt themselves and that they protect the collection. You will be ask to sign a release form that you will not sell the images on a commercial basis. Enjoy your next visit!

The Neon Museum - Las Vegas

The Jackpot Motel from The Neon Museum

Michel Nadeau

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Old abondoned House | Abandoned House

Old Abandoned House In Nevada

I have always been fascinated by abandoned houses. Every time I come across one driven by my curiosity forces me to go and have a closer look at them. I remember as a young kid that one of my uncle would take us for a car ride and we would take these dirt roads and visit some of the abandoned houses.

It was fascinating to see some of the old houses and furniture that was left behind. It did not take to much time for these houses to be rob by antique collectors and resellers. Last week in Nevada coming back from a quick trip to death valley, I saw on the road back two abandoned houses, I could not resist, I stop and the subject was ideal for HDR images, the sky had some great clouds and the late afternoon light was simply perfect.

Nevada's Old Abandoned House

Nevada’s Old Abandoned House

Old Abandoned House in Nevada

Old Abandoned House in Nevada

 

These old houses and abandoned buildings are becoming rare and difficult to find. Many of them are in areas that are difficult to reach. When I get a chance to shoot an old abandoned houses, I never hesitate to do it.

 

Michel Nadeau

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Discover Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal

Its a Photographer’s HDR Heaven

 

If you are visiting Montreal and you are a lover of church art, the Montreal Basilica of old Montreal is a must. It is a Photographer’s  HDR heaven and it is renowned for the richness of its interior architecture, religious artifacts, and colorful decorations. The  small chapel  in the back called Notre-Dame du Sacré-Coeur is worth the visit.

Here is a picture of the ceiling of the Notre-Dame du Sacré-Coeur Chapel that I shot in HDR. You need to go early during the day and try to avoid the busiest time of the year when the tourist season is at its peak.

Notre-Dame du Sacré-Coeur Chapel

Ceiling of the Notre-Dame du Sacré-Coeur Chapel

Notre-Dame du Sacré-Cour Chapel

Notre-Dame du Sacré-Cour Chapel

They accept the use of tripods and the only condition is that you must signed a release form that indicates that you will not use the images for business purpose.

You can get more information by contacting Murielle Desrochers

For reservations or further information, please call  at 514-842-2925 or toll free at 1 866 842-2925.
or by email to : mdesrochers@basiliquenddm.org

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal

Admission fees

Age 18 and over: $5
Ages 7 to 17: $4
Age 6 and under: Free

 
Michel Nadeau
 

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Weekly Picture Story – Old Vanished Barn | old barn

That Old Barn Is Gone

Every day when I come back home from work I take the same road. If you are like me, you see stuff that you would like to shoot but you say to yourself I don’t have the time now I will come back later. I am sure you know what I am talking about we all come across interesting subjects on the trips back home, it can be a flower, a field in bloom, a pattern in snow, a graffiti, an old barn you name it.

Have you ever felt the urge to take a picture of something because you have a gut feeling that its not going to be there for long. This picture is all about that, during the prior week on my way back home my attention was always drawn to this beautiful old barn. That week, I saw a survey crew not far on the side of the road close to the old barn and it made we wonder if someone was not planning to put this old barn down and construct something else. The next week, I could not resist anymore the timing was perfect the grass was tall and the light was just perfect.

Hurry Shoot That Old Barn Before It Vanishes

I drove home, picked up my gear and came back to shoot that old barn. As traffic was going by, some people were looking at me and were probably wondering what I saw on the side of that busy road that was worth stopping for. They did not see that old barn with my infrared eyes. The light was perfect and I had the gut feeling that it was not going to be there for long and it would do a nice picture shot with my newly modified infrared Canon 20D by Life Pixels. So I proceeded and shot it in HDR. Once the file was processed, I was agreeably please with the result I got. It also taught me an important  lesson “DON’T WAIT TO LONG” it may not be there if you wait any longer. I wanted to go back that weekend and walk around that old barn to shoot it from different angles but it was to late it had already vanished. That survey crew had given me a hint but I did not act quick enough.

old barn

Old Barn from Boisbriand, QC

More Old Barn Pictures

If An Old Barn Catches Your Attention, Shoot It Before It Disappears

 
Michel Nadeau
 

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Weekly Picture Story – Lovely Hats

Lovely Hats

 

I have decided to write once a week a story about a picture I took and tell you a short story about it. Often I will see something that catches my attention and I usually try to capture it. I saw this display  of hats in Old Montreal has I was walking one of the streets. I liked the colors, textures and the background of that old brick wall of that scene . These hats were almost crying to me ” Bye Me You Would Look Good Into One of These hats ” It’s probably the kid in me that got drawn to these hats. Hope you have enjoyed this short story.

 

hats

If it Catches Your Attention, Shoot It

 
Michel Nadeau
 

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My Fascination With Rocks And Rivers

 

Falls

Whenever I shoot landscape I am always drawn to subjects that have water and rocks. I like the movement of water and the silky look that long exposure produces. I also like the textures that we find in rocks they are rich in details and often in colors.

 

Here is a first example of a picture I captured in the Parc National de la Gaspésie while I was walking a trail. I used a tripod and a combination of an Hoya ND 8 filter and a polarizer to keep the reflections in the water and capture the rich colors available in the bed of that stream. The picture was taken at ISO 100, 0,5 s. at f/18. I kept  my post-processing to a minimum by adding a bit of saturation in the river bed and added some texture in the rock formation. I finally finished by sharpening with Nik Sharpener Pro. The result is very pleasing and looks natural.

The next picture was taken the same day as I progressed in the trail. I came upon a river that was pack with rocks and the water flow was very low compared to spring. It was the perfect time to take my boots off and position myself at the same level as the rocks. Once I figured where to put my tripod, I took 3 exposures with a compensation of 2 stops and processed the file with  Photomatix. You can see why I like rocks and water

During the rest of that week I also visited another Park in Gaspésie called Forrilon National Parc. I also practice and experiment with HDR and really enjoyed the rest of my trip. I will probably go back in a few years to visit other parts of this beautiful region of Québec. Here are a few pictures for your enjoyment.

By the way, I am weary of bears when I walk in trails alone, signs like the one in the next picture are nothing to reassure me but it won’t prevent me from continuing to capture the beauty that nature has to offer. it’s me on the right with a friend and I figured that if that day we were going to have an encounter with an hungry bear he was going to have a big snack and it was not going to be me.


 
Michel Nadeau
 

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Finally Kept My Word And Shot That Scene

Today, I new I had about an hour to shoot an area that I have been promising myself to photograph for years in St-Jérôme, QC. Everytime I go by that bridge, I look at my right and see that river surrounded by trees and a bridge at the other end. To me, this scene would make a perfect peaceful dreamy landscape. Well this is exactly what I did this morning, took 7 exposures with a 1 stop increment and processed it with Photomatix 4.2 and re-process it again through Nik Software Color Efex 4.0 with a few filters that I thought would give some sort of a dreamy feeling and look to that scene.

Here is the unprocessed  raw file with the normal exposure

This is the look that I got after processing it through Photomatix & Nik Software.

The result is OK but could of been much better if I had a bit of clouds to create a more dramatic scene. I will go back again until I create the shot that I like and it may not be a HDR shot this time. Many times in the past I have shot subjects and areas that did not please me or satisfied me after my first shoot. I have learned over the years that if you are not satisfied, go back and shoot it again if it is  possible until your are completely satisfied. There is always something new that you will see when you go back, better light, better perspective etc… Finally after that shoot, I drove to that bridge in the scene and took   this very grungy  shot of the river under the bridge. After all I was using my new toy ” Promote Control ” and I had to experiment with it to understand it’s potential and weakness.

Hope you have enjoyed this post
 
Michel Nadeau
 

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