Friday, March 26, 2010

The Sun and The Moon

A few weeks ago I had a great morning outing to Hendry's beach and I've finally been getting around to processing some of the photos.

When I got there, I was pleasantly surprised to find a full moon sitting low in the sky. The sunrise didn't become dramatic until a good 20 minutes after it crept past the horizon, so this gave me a good subject to play with in the mean time.

Once the sun was up, I took a handful of bracketed exposures to try some HDR. Something that's been really discouraging with my HDR attempts so far is that they end up with a horrendous amount of noise. The colors and lighting look great overall, but in detail everything ends up looking really grainy.

I recently read through this HDR tutorial, and it suggests that you can reduce the noise some by making the image from a large number of exposures (he uses 10) instead of the more common 3. I'm eager to test this theory out and hopefully see some improvement!

At the same time, I'm encouraged to see that the noise isn't really noticeable in the compressed 1024x768 image on Flickr. Also, the noise reduction tool in Lightroom seemed to help some.

On top of the noise, this shot wasn't very sharp to begin with--I'm not sure whether that's because of a cheap tripod, or poor focusing, or what. Also, even the +2ev exposure wasn't light enough to record detail in all of the shadows, so I didn't really capture the full dynamic range.

All complaints aside, though, it was a beautiful sunrise and a decent capture that I'd chalk up as "progress" :)

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