Category: HDR

Gantry Crane Over the Monongahela

I’ve been living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for a couple of years now.  I moved to be closer to family and friends and have really fallen in love with the town.  Having grown up in Ohio, and gone to school in Cleveland, it’s actually quite a shock to finally be living in the back yard of the Pittsburgh Steelers, especially on Sundays when crowd noise flows through the neighborhood and you’re suffering traffic and parking issues!  Being a Cleveland Browns really couldn’t be any harder!  I hang my hat in the Mexican War Streets part of town and have pretty much everything I need within a short walk of my home.  As a result I’ve not really as familiar with the entire area as I would like.

One of my goals with this little site will be to highlight some of the more interesting places I’ve decided to uncover in the area.  I’m getting better at bringing the camera along, and getting much better at deliberately making the effort to go out and shoot something.  In addition to sharing the pictures I thought it might be interesting to also document the locations.  You never know, maybe a visitor to the ‘Burgh will stumble onto the site and want to visit some of the same places?  One idea that I thought would be interesting would be to share these locations on Google Earth or Maps? I think I’ll spend some time figuring out how to do all this and add a section to the site.  If I’m lucky maybe some of you can fill me in on spots that I haven’t yet discovered or better yet some tips on how to share the information?

Anyway, here is another handheld HDR from my recent trip down to the Waterfront:

Gantry Crane over the Monongahela River



Today I dropped off my daughter for an early soccer practice and had several hours to kill before she needed to be picked up. It was a perfect amount of time to take a few pictures and write-up a blog post. It was also a perfect morning! I’m glad I threw the tripod into the truck because I came across some pretty interesting smokestack’s down at the Waterfront shopping complex in West Homestead, Pa.

Handheld shot HDR

Pretty good?

The first thing I discovered is that I really need a new tripod. The one I have probably cost around $40 ten years ago. The main problem with it is the head, it will only allow for a horizontal positioning of the camera. It would have been really nice to be able to compose a vertical shot that I didn’t have to hand-hold.

If you have an opinion on good tripods please leave a comment. I’m currently considering the Induro brand based on Amazon reviews and posts I’ve seen on other people’s blogs. I would really like to know if anyone has had a really bad experience with the brand. A ball head would have been really nice this morning!

All that being said, I think I found a couple of keeper shots.

HDR Smokestack

My favorite shot of the smokestacks

Windy Point HDR

Windy Point

Here is another shot from my recent trip to Arizona.  This one is taken on the road up to Mount Lemon in the Catalina Mountains.  It was getting late in the day and I couldn’t get a good shot from this position.  The exposure would either be correct for the rock formation or for the sky…but not both.  Taking a cue from Trey Ratcliff, I thought I’d try my hand at a hand-held HDR image.

Basically, I took three shots, one underexposed by a stop, one “correct” per the light meter and finally one overexposed by a stop. I then used an application called Photomatix to tie the three images together into what you see above.  If you go to Trey’s site he has a fantastic discussion on how to do this.  He uses the technique to great artistic effect.  I was hoping for something less dramatic and little closer to what I actually saw.  I think it came out well.

I do know that the best way to shoot an HDR image is typically to use a tripod, I didn’t bring mine along (note to self…) but given that the rocks weren’t moving and the relatively high shutter speeds I don’t think the shot was hurt. I’m glad I didn’t drink too much coffee on the way up the mountain.