comparison

Playing with HDR

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. HDR basically refers to an image having a range of brightnesses greater than the camera is capable of capturing, in a single photo. The way these are taken is with a series of exposures which with computer trickery are combined into a 32bit picture file. These cannot be displayed on normal computer screens/TVs so are 'photoshopped' back to a regular 16 or 8bit file. While this can give realistic results, it also allows for some wacky effects to be created.

I'm not going to go into the details on how to create these effects but will provide some links to tutorials at the bottom. I wanted to test the benefit of multiple exposure HDR over single exposure pseudo-HDR (the cheat method*). Additionally, I wanted to test how many exposures are needed for the best result. The three examples below show some of the effects HDR photography can lead to:

Mini in HDRSt David's Cathedral in HDRHDR of cars

 

Single Vs Multiple Exposure HDR

There are times when either are appropriate but traditionally, the 'best' results will always come from a multiple exposure HDR. If there is movement in the scene you will get ghosting, which is the name given to the strange grey halos found around the moving objects (this can include plants/leaves moving in the wind). Software can reduce ghosting and in certain cases, remove it completely but a detailed tree scene on a windy day is going to have too much movement. *In these cases you can try single exposure HDR; this is only effective if you camera saves in RAW mode. Continue reading

Technophobic camera comparison – compact Vs DSLR?

This is not your usual camera comparison, this is a camera comparison for technophobes! So if you know how to use the manual functions or even the program functions on your camera this probably won't be relevant. In addition, I'm not comparing four new cameras, I'm comparing the gradually evolving Sony W Series with a Canon 450D DSLR.

So, I should explain (as this is aimed at technophobes) the Canon 450D is a very popular inexpensive DSLR. A DSLR is a digital single-lens reflex camera which means you (usually) look through the eye piece to take your photos not look at the screen. It also provides almost unmatched flexibility with a wide selection of specialist lenses for every occasion and complete manual control. In short they are bigger, heavier and you usually carry them with a bag load of other bits.

The Sony W Series has always been a balance of powerful features and a small size. I have three on test: the W7 (from 2005), the W300 (from 2008) and my parent's shiny new WX10 (2011). Each one gets smaller as the numbers of features sky rocket. I've always liked the Sony compact cameras for their fast autofocus and good results.

Why compare compacts to a DSLR?

This is where the technophobe bit comes in. Many people I have met are like my parents, they forget how to use their camera on holiday. As a result they use the auto mode (green mode) all the time. My question is, using only auto mode which performs better?

Remember, although DSLR's traditionally produce the best quality photos they are usually in the hands of people who know what they're doing! Continue reading

Site Update

Major ongoing update for bezzer.co.uk I'm moving away from Joomla despite years of loyal service. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • I feel Joomla suits larger sites better
  • The process to upgrade from 1.5.23 to 1.7 is overcomplicated
  • I need something to do in between job applications
So... Decided I'd give WordPress another shot. I've used it before but not for a few years. Feels the same as before but with a larger version number.
Complaints so far:
  • Haven't found a plugin to import single flickr photo and provide lightbox effect
  • WordPress kept messing my lovely code up! Fixed: TinyMCE Advanced has option to disable this 'feature'
  • Blog style website makes me want to type useless stuff everywhere in order to have more posts...
Positives so far:
  • Much cleaner interface than Joomla (has always been the case really)
  • Easier management of Plugins and Themes
Expect an unusual amount of activity in the next few days as I finish porting over pages from the old site. Once complete I will try to update on a less frequent but regular basis.