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I’ve said it before and I mean it, photography should be fun! Not every image has to be a work of art! Sometimes, it’s fun just play around a bit, such is the case in today’s image.
It was a balmy 35F yesterday afternoon which made me want to get out and take some pictures! I decided to go see an old friend that I hadn’t seen in almost 3 years, a barn on the Lake Elmo Park Reserve. The first image I took of this old beauty is still one of my best, in my opinion, and it was one of my first works with HDR – see it here. The years haven’t changed the old barn much, but the surroundings were a bit different than when we last met. Now, there’s snow on the ground and the park’s lighted ski trails run right up next to it.
Being that my feet were once again dressed in sneakers, I decided to just follow the ski trail down to the back side of the barn rather than tromp around in the front. Glad I did! In my previous trip, the backside of the barn escaped me – shame. I liked the back so much, I wanted to grab a pic of it, but with my crop-sensored D-SLR, that meant backing up into the ski track on the trail, which I didn’t feel comfortable doing. Didn’t want any angry skiers, I hear they can be violent with those poles! Instead, I decided to make a pano of the barn just for fun. An HDR pano to boot!
And it was fun, too, both in taking the brackets and processing them. I knew there would be some distortion due to how panoramas are processed, but I was surprised when the pano was finished that it wasn’t near as dramatic as expected. Even with the distortion and some other small flaws in the HDR processing, you still get the feel for the barn and its surroundings, which was the intent. Success!
Here’s the process: Aperture Priority at f14 with the Magic Lantern set to grab 5 brackets with each press of the button. Took 6 sets starting at the center and moving each direction to capture the entire scene (I went a bit further to camera right than left). Processed the first set of brackets through Photomatix, then used the same settings to process the other 5. Imported back into Aperture, then exported as PSD to Photoshop Elements for the Photomerge Pano. Cropped to taste then the normal editing process with Aperture, Perfect Effects and Focal Point.
It’s not a work of art by any means, but it sure was fun, and I like fun!