LightningPaul

05 Mar 2009 1,504 views
 
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photoblog image Crystallized Trees

Crystallized Trees


A winter shot at the canals between Damme (near Brugge in Belgium) and Sluis (in South of Holland). It's amazing to see the result when water in the air gets crystallized at the branches of the trees. If you enjoy this view you may also like this one which is shot ten meters at the left.



TECH-INFO: A single shot would look very nice but to obtain this hyper balanced lighting I have chosen to take 5 JPGs with each a stop difference. All taken using a tripod. I was standing on a bridge of a highway. Cars and trucks were passing very close to me at speeds of 90 km/h. I had to wait for moments of silence because big vehicles make so strong air movements that my tripod started shaking.

The pictures were melted in the nicest way using exposure blending (part of Photomatrix). In Photoshop I boosted the contrast using curves and pushed (or pulled back) slightly the blacks, whites, yellows, reds, blues and cyans using the selective color tool.

Crystallized Trees


A winter shot at the canals between Damme (near Brugge in Belgium) and Sluis (in South of Holland). It's amazing to see the result when water in the air gets crystallized at the branches of the trees. If you enjoy this view you may also like this one which is shot ten meters at the left.



TECH-INFO: A single shot would look very nice but to obtain this hyper balanced lighting I have chosen to take 5 JPGs with each a stop difference. All taken using a tripod. I was standing on a bridge of a highway. Cars and trucks were passing very close to me at speeds of 90 km/h. I had to wait for moments of silence because big vehicles make so strong air movements that my tripod started shaking.

The pictures were melted in the nicest way using exposure blending (part of Photomatrix). In Photoshop I boosted the contrast using curves and pushed (or pulled back) slightly the blacks, whites, yellows, reds, blues and cyans using the selective color tool.

comments (27)

Wonderful winter shot. Beautiful light and colors. Nice work!!
LightningPaul: Many thanks for your comment!
Wow amazing.. 5 JPGs! It's a masterpiece, and the sharpness is so great!
LightningPaul: Thanks! The 5 JPGs with different exposures contain enough information for HDR photography. By carefully melting them together I got the same WOW effect like when I was there, and I get a much more realistic looking image.
  • 613photo
  • United States
  • 5 Mar 2009, 01:39
Absolutely gorgeous. There's not much to say other than that, I'm afraid.

Why do you use JPG instead of TIFF, though? Just curious.
LightningPaul: When you take enough JPGs with different exposures then you end up with more information (for HDR) than any single RAW or TIFF file. Taking multiple exposures using RAW or TIFF mostly does not yield me anything extra for making HDR images, but do consume much more time and space to process (especially I set the correct white balance during shooting).
We like the crop, very tight and focused. The light is great and we were surprise seeing it is an HDR. Well done.
LightningPaul: Thanks for commenting and visiting. Most people react on HDR when it's overdone or looking very artistic. When it's done to get a very natural result than nobody notices it smile
Especially HDR techniques are used in most modern TV series and movies to generate backgrounds, but luckily nobody sees it.
I guess this winter was too cold for everybody.
LightningPaul: We had indeed a very cold winter this year. Though still not enough ice and snow. But that day I made a bunch of great pictures.
great shot all together, I like the composition
LightningPaul: Thanks a lot Chantal smile
  • vintage
  • Australia
  • 5 Mar 2009, 08:48
Super shot wonderful image
LightningPaul: Super many thanks!
Both shots are beautiful!
LightningPaul: Thanks for both visits. I'm very happy you like them.
I did like the other one and I like this one too. not overdone.
LightningPaul: Thanks for both liking them. I'm very happy with the results. And very glad it's not overdone.
  • Ivan
  • Spain
  • 5 Mar 2009, 14:14
wuuuau, magnifica fotografia, expectacular, gran derroche de colores, un saludo.
LightningPaul: Thank you for your comment smile
wow
that comes off really well!
cheers
Rob
LightningPaul: Many thanks Rob.
  • alex
  • United States
  • 5 Mar 2009, 16:51
very nice, paul, and i appreciate the description on how you accomplished it. nice for us newbies!
LightningPaul: Many thanks Alex. I'm very happy you appreciate the tech-info. It motivates me for continuing writing that.
wonderful shot Paulsmile shots i should saysmile
LightningPaul: I agree with wonderful shot, but each shot is not so wonderful as the result. But the sum of all shots ==> wonderful shot smile
  • Janina
  • Poland
  • 5 Mar 2009, 18:10
Wow,it's a lovely photo?
  • SePp
  • Germany
  • 5 Mar 2009, 18:19
whoow amazing! Great stuff. Looks like it was early in the morning. Brugge seeing and dying smile

Greets
SePp
LightningPaul: It was pretty early in the morning, around 9h00. But it was in January and this place is at the end of the GMT+1 timezone (so almost in GMT zone). In other words: the sun was not fully awake yet smile
Excelent. "La imagen del frio".
LightningPaul: Indeed, it pretty much resembles the cold. Thanks for visiting.
I just love it when the landscape turns white like this, it is just amazing what nature can deliver when it's a little cold ;-)
LightningPaul: Indeed, such crystal looking landscapes only happen rarely (in Belgium). And it was cold for us in Belgium smile
Thanks for your visit.
  • chris
  • Spain
  • 6 Mar 2009, 07:26
this image is well worth all the manipulating you have done!
LightningPaul: Thank you Chris!
  • Alex
  • Spain
  • 6 Mar 2009, 11:52
Pues si que parece un arbol de cristal, o cristalizado.
Buena composicion y encuadre.
Saludos.
LightningPaul: Many thanks for your comment!
Lovely image. Would never have known you used HDR method on this it's so natural.
LightningPaul: HDR techniques are used very widely, especially in the professional movie world.
If tone mapping a HDR image yields an artistic or strange result then everybody notices it. But when it looks natural it can be hard to see.
The 32-bit HDR files deliver you so much options and (endless) possibilities. It's like RAW on steroids smile
Many thanks for your visit and comment.
Love how the ice and frost covers the branches in this shot. Beautiful country winter landscape picture.
LightningPaul: Me too smile It was a very unique day. We'll have to wait a long time again to see something like this here.
  • Ilan
  • Israel
  • 6 Mar 2009, 15:42
Now way! Is this real?! Or shot with IR filter?
My god what an amazing scene... I haven't seen real snow for almost 20 years, and seeing this scenery... Ohh man..
LightningPaul: It was indeed amazing to see that. And you're right, it almost looks like I used an IR filter but it is not.
  • Tero
  • Finland
  • 6 Mar 2009, 16:43
Fantastic light!
LightningPaul: Thanks Tero! The sun was hardly awake and the HDR technique did the rest.
  • Phil
  • United States
  • 13 Mar 2009, 21:48
Wow...gorgeous image! It looks like straight out of a fairytale!
LightningPaul: Thanks Phil! It was a real fairytale smile
Wow !! A likey for me too !
LightningPaul: Many many many thanks, I appreciate it smile
Excellent, Likeyed!
LightningPaul: Wow! Many thanks! smile
  • Pere
  • Spain
  • 4 May 2009, 20:44
Spectacular. I like the level of detail of all your pictures, especially this one. How do you reach that level of sharpness?

Wonderful!
LightningPaul: Many thanks for your visit Pere.

There are a few ingredients for sharp images:
1/ make sure you use a good quality lens
2/ most lenses deliver the most sharp images around f/8 and f/11, other values will give softer images even when the subject is perfectly in focus; with prime lenses the sweet spot is often around f/4 or f/5.6
3/ the DxO Optics Pro (RAW) conversion software removes lens softness (at least if your lens + camera is supported by DxO)
4/ HDR tone-mapping can often give a sharper result because of the local contrast enhancements
5/ when images are made smaller they become sharper; if you apply some extra sharpening then the result will mostly great.

I hope this helps smile

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camera NIKON D200
exposure mode full manual
shutterspeed 1/50s
aperture f/11.0
sensitivity ISO100
focal length 12.0mm
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