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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Samui Island HDR Without Tripod

These photos are actually from a trip I took to Samui island a couple of years ago, I just never got around to processing it. No excuses really, just too lazy as usual :). For this trip I took along my newly acquired Sony a55 (just shows how long ago it was) coupled with the Tamron 17-50 f2.8. Since I was traveling with quite a large group, I had to balance my desire for taking photographs with being a good travel companion, so I couldn't really waste their time by stopping at each location to setup my tripod.

Samui Island View Sea Tree Cliff : it was so windy from the incoming storm I almost got blown off the cliff

I still wanted to do some HDR photography though, so that meant I had to take exposure bracketed shots handheld. Luckily the advantages of the new STL technology really helped in this regard. Having no jolt from the mirror flipping up and down during each shots meant that I could hold the camera pretty still, and being able to take them at 10fps helped minimize any camera movement between shots even further.

I can never decide how to process my images so I always end up with many different versions
As usual I am very indecisive when it comes to deciding how I want to process my images. I actually have many versions of the same shots, but I had to force myself to chose at most two versions for each, one color and another black and white.

maybe just one more step to the right...
I nearly got killed trying to get the composition I wanted for the picture above. I wanted both islands to be in the center between the two trees. So I was looking through the view finder as I was shifting sideways to the right. I was getting closer and closer to the angle I wanted, but just as I was about to take one more step I had a glance my horror I was standing right at the edge of a sheer 30 foot drop. Since I am no Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon martial arts master that can levitate in the air, I just decided to take the best shot I could and live to shoot another day.

this is not a car commercial...honest
Although it might look like this shot was setup it actually wasn't. I just got out of the car to walk around and enjoy the view at the top of this cliff, when I looked around the car was just parked in a typical "ad pose" and the light coming through the crowd was just perfect so I fired off a few shots. If I actually set this shot up I probably wouldn't have the tree sticking out from behind the car like that.

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