“Oooohhh, are you guys from the fair” says the very excited woman behind the counter at Coles supermarket; in the small mining town of Tom Price in Western Australia. “Ehhh…what…No?!” I say to her disappointment. “We look like we belong in a fair?” I ask. “Ohhhh no” she says, ” just saw your little shoulder bag”. I ponder what a ‘fair-looking-shoulder-bag’ looks like. Like mine I guess. “Ok, cheers, see ya later"!” and Rod and I collect our shopping. Meet Casey outside – where I briefly study the big town fair and wonder if that is where I really belong. We then go in search of junk food feeling like burgers and chips. 35, yes thirty-five, dollars and some awful junk food later we mostly feel…ripped off!
Later that day. We’re back in Karijini after fuel and food in Tom Price. We’re shooting in Dales Gorge on a gorgeous afternoon. When the sun is out it is so lovely here in June. When the sun sets. Bit on the cold side! I drop my lens cap. As I do. Catch it before it dives into Fortesque Falls. I keep wanting to point my camera up at the sky. Walls, any sort of walls, and I do not agree. Confining. Boxed in. I need a wide open space with a view to infinity. Open composition. As we are doing a CAKE group portrait next to a massive tree, I somehow manage to run into someone who excitedly says she recognises me from Mitchell Falls in the Kimberley. “I’m everywhere” I say, not really remembering her. Life of an international superstar (cough cough). What a funky day in the universe!
Finally; at the bottom (or top?) pool of Dales Gorge I somehow manage a gorge shot that I like very much. And finally; after many words here it is:
Dales Gorge pool and waterfall
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography
There is a massive range of light here from the highlights to the shadows. Maybe 10 stops. Much more than any camera can capture. So I chose to do a High Dynamic Range image, shooting 3 exposures of the same shot at –4, 0 and +4 stops. I don’t really like the HDR results from any software be it Photoshop or Photomatix. I do my own blend as I find I get more natural looking results. Using layers in Photoshop I simply use masks to blend the 3 different exposures together. Highlights from the –4 shot, shadows from the +4 and perhaps just a bit of midtone from the middle image. I find I can much better control the result this way, a result that looks less fake and less obvious HDR. This image is probably quite close to what the eye can see when at the scene. However; as we’re not used to any cameras being able to capture details in highlights and shadows an image like this tends to look a bit like a painting. It is not a bad look for a photograph as long as it doesn’t scream ‘HDR generated’. I am quite happy with the results here and would love to hear your opinion or questions in a comment.
CAKE09 – short for Cape leveque And Karijini Expedition ‘09. You are forgiven if it slipped your mind! More tales to come…