In God’s Country

There is no doubt that if God existed he would be an Englishman, and the proof would be seen in a forest glade, in spring, in England.

http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf
Click on the slideshow to go to Picasa and see the large versions!

I spent Friday dodging showers with my tripod, camera and lenses, visiting a couple of my favourite spots in the neighbourhood (well ones that aren’t pubs anyway!) Apart from the close-ups of the bluebells all the pictures are High Dynamic Range images (HDR), each processed from a bracket of three shots, and some of the images were further processed with an effect known as “Ortonisation” or “the Orton effect” which gives a very painterly effect. Some people hate it, I probably use it too much. You really need to see the large versions at Picasweb to get the Orton effect.

HDR is pretty processor intensive, so once I had downloaded the RAW pictures (approx 500) from my camera I set up a batch process to combine and tone-map the images and six hours later I was able to start selecting the best images for the gallery, and deciding which ones would benefit from the Orton effect. For camera geeks, I used a Pentax K10D, Pentax 16-45mm and Sigma 12-24mm lenses (circular polariser on the 16-45) at F11. The bracketing was 3 shots at +-2 stops all taken tripod-mounted with cable release and mirror lock-up. HDR processing with Photomatix Pro, Capture sharpening, cropping and straightening in Silkypix finally Ortonisation in Adobe Photoshop Elements. These were all processed as JPG files. What I tend to do is choose a couple, go back to the RAW files and reprocess them as TIFF’s, manually tone-mapping the HDR images for a better result.

Rowley Woods is a best-kept secret that very few people seem to know about. During the afternoon I spent there, I only met two other people. It is also one of life’s strange co-incidences that the woods are owned by someone I was at Middlesex Polytechnic with, back in the 1970’s (actually he was in the year ahead of me, and chair of the Geog Soc).

Until the last few weeks I haven’t picked up my cameras much, having rather been suffering an sense of enthusiasm failure. I think I may have found my mojo again.

~ by @mmonyte on May 3, 2008.

One Response to “In God’s Country”

  1. Ah the illusive mojo.

    Glad you have found that groove again.

    That Orton effect is incredible. Love surrealism.

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