Mark A Neal

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photos

Old Time Barn in Beautiful Tones

Monochrome photography in black and white is a great way to express the tonality of an image. This shot of an old barn in Illinois, could pass for a pseudo-HDR or even true HDR. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - A Little Buggy in High Key

Today, I've decided to post a high key monochrome version of this beautiful camellia with a tiny green inhabitant. If you look closely you can see him/her staring at my camera. The little thing actually came out to see what I was doing. Curious I guess. From www.HDR4real.com

Purple Shirt at Union Station

Ever catch something out of the corner of your eye that's totally unplanned? That's what happened with this shot taken at Union Station in Saint Louis, Missouri. www.HDR4real.com

Bare Limbs

Gotta Love that Ivy . . .

. . . poison, that is! Even though this stuff causes major problems for lots of people, it’s still a beautiful plant. And with this gnarly bark, it makes a really nice, textural contrast for nature photography. Adobe Photoshop From www.HDR4real.com

Gated Weeds

The weeds are winning. www.HDR4real.com

Hydrangea Heaven

I never get tired of these beautiful plants. The variety of colors always impress me. www.HDR4real.com

Crooked Trees - Oahu Hill

Ocean winds seem to have a beautiful affect on these coastal trees. The image for today was taken just south west of Honolulu on the Island of Oahu. Yes, no beach! I spent a couple of years there and probably shot more slides for pleasure than any other period of my life. This is pretty much a straight shot with a little help from modern technology for sharpening. That’s about it since the natural beauty of the islands speaks for itself. www.HDR4real.com

Broken Bee

OK, it’s just a broken wing. It didn’t seem to bee a problem for this bee though. I thought about making this a pseudo-HDR post but this transparency is so brilliant on it’s own, it didn’t need any post processing. From my latest HTDS post at www.hdr4real.com/2012/11/07/broken-bee-blending-htds/ Adobe Photoshop Nikon N90S, 105mm f/2.8 AF Nikkor www.HDR4real.com

Village Morocco Hills

Morocco is a beautiful country and I still have quite a few photographs to share from my stay there. This is another grab shot while traveling in the hills toward the Atlas Mountains. Everywhere I pointed my camera was total photo satisfaction. This village was teeming with activity. If you look really close, you can see it. From www.HDR4real.com

A Golden Oldie – Literally

I dug into my archived images for this one. This image is from a 35mm Fujichrome Provia slide that I shot long before digital was popular with the masses. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR – Sun Comes Shining Through

Living so close to the Atlantic Coast, there’s never a dull (sky) moment. Perfect for HDR imaging. This is a typical example of certain seasons of the year in Eastern North Carolina. The awesomely heavy clouds seem to always be breaking to reveal the radiance of the glowing sunlight. Poetic huh! Nik HDR Efex Pro Adobe Photoshop CS6 From www.HDR4real.com

HDR – Camellia Close

This Camellia graces our backyard and is really pumping out some beautiful blooms right now. This, almost full view shot shows the beauty of the delicate petals and the interior details. Nik HDR Efex Pro Adobe Photoshop CS6 www.HDR4real.com

HDR – Corner Texture at Fort Macon

This HDR image is from a trip to Fort Macon in North Carolina earlier this year. The fort has so many interesting photo opportunities, it’s really difficult to leave the place. This corner, with the doorway leading to inner passages looked like a good shot as soon as I saw it. I really like the texture in the old brick walls and how age and weather have beautified them. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR – Standing in The Sun at Bodie Island Lighthouse

With a sky like this, the Bodie Island Lighthouse on the Outer Banks of North Carolina was an ideal setup for High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging. This shot is from a trip in December of last year. It was cold and the day kept going from cloudy to sunny and everything in between. You can see from this image that the sky at times overwhelmed the beauty of the lighthouse. For this photo, I tried to do a visual balance of both. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR – Woodsy Punchy Color

I really enjoy doing HDR imaging in the woods. With all the color, tone and lighting variations, it’s a real challenge to produce naturally beautiful images. This shot of from River Park North in Greenville, North Carolina. www.HDR4real.com

HDR – A Plethora of Nandina

I decided to get up close and personal with some of my Nandina bushes, aka, Heavenly Bamboo. Since we have at least thirty of these prolific plants (they grow like weeds), I chose this macro shot where the color of the berries is just about half way to full red. Nik HDR Efex Pro Adobe Photoshop CS6 From www.HDR4real.com

HDR – At The Base of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

This is the lighthouse at Cape Hatteras on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Since this was a totally cloudless day, I had to rely on the lighthouse and surrounding area for my photography. The base of the lighthouse is the most striking element of the architecture. And, at this time of day with the warm glow of the evening sun, the deep shadows created beautiful contrasts in light and color. Nik HDR Efex Pro Adobe Photoshop CS6 From www.HDR4real.com

HDR – Last Azaleas for The Season

I'm really enjoying our last color punch for the year with these beautiful azaleas. This is a High Dynamic Range(HDR) image of our hybrids that bloom from spring till autumn. And the flowers are about 3 to 4 inches across. . . a little larger than the rest of our azaleas. As you can see, the day was rainy which added even more visual interest to these beautiful blooms. From a post on artsy variations at www.hdr4real.com/2012/10/10/hdr-last-azaleas-for-the-seas...

HDR – Gnarly Beauty

Gnarly nature at its best! From www.HDR4real.com

HDR – Just a Little Sunshine

After a day of clouds and rain, the sun started to break through on a chilly, March afternoon in Washington, North Carolina. Washington is one of my favorite places for casual shooting. With the older architecture, beautiful river walkway/boardwalk and (always) stunning cloud formations, there’s never a dull photographic moment. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR – Photo Art Floral Mystery

This is another “Just Beyond Reality” HDR image. Well, maybe way beyond reality. Anyway, it’s not often that I dive into the deep end of the HDR pool but this flower (don’t know the name. Help!) is a perfect candidate for some over the edge post processing. My original image was nice but not very dramatic. I went through many stages to take this image from HDR reality to what you see here. www.HDR4real.com

HDR for Real – Storm Approaching

The day started with a very bright, sunny, photo excursion to the Emerald Isle/Crystal Coast area of North Carolina. And this is how it ended. We decided to head north to avoid the predicted quarter size hail that was probably only minutes away. www.HDR4real.com

HDR – No Bait and Switch Here

The great thing about doing HDR photos of a fisherman is that you can slow down and take as long as you want. I managed nine exposures for this shot since he was just sitting there like a statue. And with that beautiful scene, I couldn’t pass this one up. www.HDR4real.com

HDR – The Arches in Fort Macon

This HDR image was taken at Fort Macon which is located in eastern North Carolina close to Morehead City. The fort has a rich history which goes back to 1834. The grounds are beautiful with access to the beach in a few areas. The park also contains a more modern visitor facility with displays and information about the history of the fort. www.HDR4real.com

HDR - A Very Vertical View

This HDR shot was taken at Goose Creek State Park in Eastern North Carolina. I decided to take a day trip at the Inner Banks and explore “Little” Washington. After a few hours, we took a drive toward the coast and stumbled across this small state park located just across the water from Blounts Bay and close to the town of Bath. www.HDR4real.com

Rosy Compositions in HDR 2

Taken from a study in composition using roses and the rule of thirds. www.HDR4real.com

HDR – On the River – Long Lens Landscape

This riverbank shot is a 5 image High Dynamic Range example of a compressed “Intimate Landscape”. I’m using a longer lens that I normally do to get a narrower angle of view. Here, I wanted to use the tree with the hanging grey stuff as my focal point. My wife says that it’s full of bugs, chiggers or something. At least, that’s the way it is down in Mississippi. Anyway, it looks kind of nice, contrasted against the rigid tree branches. www.HDR4real.com

pseudo-HDR – Inner Beauty from The 50s

I’m posting a shot that I took back in Saint Louis, Missouri a few years ago. This was before my jump into High Dynamic Range imaging but I’ve applied a small amount of HDR tone mapping to get a slight “beyond reality” effect. Or what I call, a pseudo-HDR image. This Chevy was beautifully restored. Can you tell what year? From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Matt's Alley

I don't do very many HDR shots like this but I was drawn to this one because of the colors. The yellow "MATT" seemed to define the place. It's a walkway between buildings in Washington, North Carolina. From www.HDR4real.com

Barbed and Rusty

Sometimes a little film grain and higher contrast, with a monochrome presentation, can enhance the beauty of a photograph. Especially when the subject matter is as rugged as this fence post with rusty barbed wire. Looks like it has been repaired a few times. From www.HDR4real.com

Long Ago and Far Away

Many, many, many years ago, this volcanic residue was streaming into the Pacific ocean off the coast of what we now call the island of Oahu in the state of Hawaii. And this photo was taken only many years ago while I was living there. I’m not sure about camera or lens since I was using a variety of Nikon bodies and every Nikkor prime lens from 20mm to 135mm. Most zooms were still pretty soft back then. My color slide film of choice was Kodachrome . . . with all those nice bright colors that make all the world a sunny day. (hmmm!) To get an idea of the magnitude of this dry magma flow, you can see a railing with cars parked in the upper right of the image. www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Trippy Tonemapping

This image is from Brookside Gardens in Silver Spring Maryland. O took the HDR image processed in Photoshop CS6 and used Nik HDR Efex Pro to do a tonemapping overload. . .effect, ya know! From www.HDR4real.com

HDR for Real – Antique Grunge

Looking through our incredible collection of odds and ends, I found this old inkwell with an antique letter opener and an old, well used dip pen. From www.HDR4real.com

Clear the Beach

This image was shot just before a huge storm rolled into the beach at Fort Macon State Park in North Carolina. Within an hour, the day went from bright and sunny to dark and cloudy. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - The Old Violin

This beautiful instrument is always a draw for me when doing my HDR macro work because of the fine details and artistic beauty. Being a musician, I can appreciate not only the artistry that goes into creating an instrument like this but also the beauty that is produced with it. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR – Purple in Beautiful Black and White

I’m doing a High Dynamic Range monochrome for a change with this selection from my wife’s birthday bouquet. Since not many people do HDR imaging in b&w, I thought I would add to the few examples that do surface occasionally. www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Stairway to Macon

One of the nicest things about High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging is the ability to balance extremely bright and dark areas of a scene. This set of stairs at Fort Macon in Eastern North Carolina at mid-day, in winter with a clear sky, poses a particularly difficult problem for normal, single exposure photography. But thanks to the wonders of Nik and Adobe, we can now, with little effort, rescue images that would have been throwaways a few years ago. From www.HDR4real.com

Monochromed and Mono-Toned

Since a very strong breeze was blowing from the Atlantic, HDR imaging was out of the question for this shot. www.HDR4real.com

HDR for Real – Logged!

On my HDR photo walk at River Park North in Greenville North Carolina, I couldn’t help notice the nice yellow flowers growing out of this log. There seemed to be a simple beauty about the whole scene. So, after processing the nine exposures, I got this result. Even though the light of the sun had been blocked by a temporary cloud cover, the nine exposures gave me an almost infinite tonal palette. www.HDR4real.com

HDR – Ripply Lake

From every direction, this lake at River Park North in Greenville, NC was an irresistible HDR photo opportunity. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Almost Ready Rhododendron

Can't wait! From www.HDR4real.com

Color – Tight Stark Bold

Though this may look like what lots of people call HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging, it’s just a radical use of Adobe Photoshop. I took this image to an extreme for a bold graphic design while maintaining enough reality to still be recognizable. Colors are super saturated, darks and lights are pushed to extreme and vertical lines were straightened to emphasize the painted diagonals. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Boardwalk at Little Talbot Island

This is the end of the northern boardwalk to the beach at Little Talbot Island State Park in Jacksonville Florida. I know, these things can get pretty monotonous but hey, I don’t get to Florida very often. From www.HDR4real.com

An Odd Fellow

One of the many trees on the grounds of the Gateway Arch in St Louis Missouri, this specimen stands apart. But ah, what great texture. From www.HDR4real.com

Fire In the Sky

Couldn't resist this shot at one of the Great Balloon Races in Saint Louis Missouri. Clouds and the threat of storms don't always cause the race to be cancelled. www.HDR4real.com

Oahu Beauty in Intimate Landscape

The intricate details of these twisted trees form interesting patterns on the hillsides of Oahu. www.HDR4real.com

Ice and Upside Down Trees

I’m back to a winter shot. This one is from a very cold February day in Missouri just across the Clark (Mississippi River) bridge from Alton Illinois . . . my old stomping grounds. This is part of an area where all the trees were dead and sticking out of the shallow back water. The mixture of ice and snow on parts of the water formed interesting patterns. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR – Photo Art to The Point

I’ve started playing with the new Adobe Photoshop Oil Paint filter to get just a little more creative with some older HDR images; kind of a rejuvenation process. This macro shot of a pen point atop an antique inkwell was originally done in its rustic, “classic” condition. But, I wanted to do a more artistic transformation. Adobe Photoshop CS6 Nik HDR Efex Pro From www.HDR4real.com

HDR – NC Dunes

The beauty of realistic HDR imaging is evident with this photo from Fort Macon beach in eastern North Carolina. From www.HDR4real.com

Lily of The Field

Forest Park in St Louis Missouri always has wonderful photo opportunities . . . landscapes, flowers on the grounds and at the Jewel Box, people, animals at the zoo, architecture, Hot Air Baloon races. The list goes on. My shot of this lily presented a great opportunity for a pseudo High Dynamic Range example. From www.HDR4real.com

Volubilis Morocco - The Aqueduct

One of my favorite places to visit in Morocco was the Roman ruins at Volubilis located near Meknes between Fez and Rabat. One meaning for the name is “sculpture” and I can only guess that the place had lots of sculptures at one time since it was a small Roman city. I’ve also found that the name in Latin means “Morning Glory”. That seems to go along with what I was told by the “freelance guides” at the ruins. www.hdr4real.com

HDR - Classical Abstract

I really enjoy photographing musical instruments. They’re great subjects for High Dynamic Range photography and make an artistic impression on me visually; like making music with a work of art. This is one of my guitars that I enjoy playing when I want to relax with something classical or even Celtic. From www.HDR4real.com http://www.hdr4real.com/2012/01/28/hdr-classical-abstract/

Big Walls Little Man in Morocco

The walls of these buildings and the light fixtures seemed very disproportionate to this man. A shot from my stay in Morocco. This is part of the Rabat Medina area. www.HDR4real.com

Real for a Change – Lovely Meringue in Abstract

I chose this Lemon Meringue pie for something special; a study in macro abstract. Delicious! I got close with my Nikkor 105mm Micro f/2.8. From www.HDR4real.com

Photo Art in The Smoky Mountains

One of my pics from the Smoky Mountains. I decided to take this image through a monochrome conversion, then create a split toned example and then work with Adobe Photoshop CS6 HDR Toning to get this soft, artistic expression. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR – Kalanchoe Close

I caught this first bloom on one of our kalanchoe plants last winter while doing some HDR macro work. To get this sharp subject with very soft background, I blended two images using Masking in Adobe Photoshop. Nik HDR Efex Pro Adobe Photoshop From www.HDR4real.com

A Little Buggy

I've decided to a post color version of this beautiful camellia with a tiny green inhabitant. I posted a high key version a couple of weeks ago. If you look closely you can see him/her staring at my camera. The little thing actually came out to see what I was doing. Curious I guess. From www.HDR4real.com

Medina Window

While trekking around the Medina in Rabat, Morocco, I couldn't pass up this beautifully landscaped wall and window. As you can see, the colors are incredible. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR – Classical Grass, Weeds, Whatever!

This High Dynamic Range (HDR) image is the product of cropping a larger image. It’s about 80% of the original but still holds enough detail. I really like doing these “Intimate Landscapes” since the intricate beauty of nature can be presented more intimately. These very tall and wispy whatevers were in constant motion as you can see from the tops of some. I decided to use the motion for a softer look . . . more of an artistic expression than a statically realistic one. And yes, the color is also just a little more saturated than reality as I think it adds to the art of it. From www.HDR4real.com

Purple PHaze

This image started as a color slide with mostly green and brown tones. By transforming the shot into a monochrome image and overlaying a Photo Filter in Adobe Photoshop, I managed to transform it into this more artistic expression of nature. From www.HDR4real.com

Green and Yellow

Saint Louis Botanical Gardens offers many photo opportunities. This shot is from an excursion a few years ago. From www.HDR4real.com

Minimal Green

Old Rabat From the Beach

This is a view from the ocean looking inland. The clouds almost stole the show. Morocco in Northern Africa From www.HDR4real.com

Back When Slides Were the Tops Again

This image is from way back when digital cameras were still trying to win the favor of the professional community. At that time, my camera of choice was a trusty Nikon n90s. This color slide image (probably some kind of Fujifilm product) shows the beauty and limitations of those great little transparencies. From www.HDR4real.com

Soulard Stained Glass - Monochrome Warm

This image is one of the street level windows in an old church in the Soulard neighborhood of Saint Louis just south of the downtown area. Might be on 9th street but I can't remember now. The ivy had pretty much covered the entire wall which gives a beautiful texture for lots of drama. www.HDR4real.com

Soulard Window Leaves - Monochrome Warm

This old building in the Soulard neighbord of Saint Louis kept me busy with way too many photo opportunities. www.HDR4real.com

Soulard Lines - Monochrome Warm

Horizontals, diagonals and verticals came together for this shot with just enough nature to add some life. www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Sand in My Shoes at Fort Macon

I know you're supposed to wear sandals at the beach but I usually do my HDR shoots with shoes on. I always seem to get that gritty stuff embedded between my toes. Yuk! This shot is from our last summer trip to the beach at Fort Macon in Eastern North Carolina. This was just before a very large storm rolled in so I was lucky enough to get the last bits of sunshine glistening off of the sand. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR for Real – After The Rain

The nice thing about the weather at the Inner Banks of North Carolina is that it’s always changing. And, for High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography, the changes are perfect. My last visit to Washington, NC was a real challenge since scenes like this were the norm. . .one minute clear skies with clouds in the distance and the next, rain. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR for Real – The Sum of its Parts - The Old Violin 2

I decided to do a few High Dynamic Range shots of my wife’s violin since I’ve been having one of those “can’t go anywhere different” episodes. Being a musician myself, I see musical instruments as true works of art. I’ve tried to portray the beauty of a violin by emphasizing the curves as well as the mechanical elements. An old musical instrument can be a beautiful and artistic expression, even when not being played. www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Looking Down at Fort Macon

Last week, I posted a view of the stairs in this photo from a more abstract perspective. This again is Fort Macon and today I’m showing you what it looks like at the top of the steps with this HDR image. I was really drawn to the multitude of angles, vertical, horizontal, diagonal and the curve just below left center. www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Three Gulls and a BoardWalk

The boardwalk in Washington, North Carolina covers quite a long distance and on nice weather days is pretty crowded. . .even in the winter. This HDR shot was taken on a week day which explains the small to non-existent crowd. But the gulls seem to always be present in abundance. For this image, I was facing west with the winter sun pretty low in the sky. This gave me the great shadows on the railings. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR – Groomed Beauty in The Garden

This HDR image is from Brookside Gardens in Spring Hill Maryland. This shot was taken in a very peaceful area where visitors can relax and enjoy the beauty of the garden. It’s a beautiful park with many strolling/hiking trails and groomed gardens to enjoy. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - River Park Tall

River Park North in Greenville NC From www.HDR4real.com

Grills of Great Britain - MG TD

If you love Classic Cars as I do, then like me, you can’t resist focusing on those magnificent grills (or grilles). And, if you don’t really care for old cars at all, I hope you can still appreciate the beautifully artistic engineering that went into these mechanical beauties. From www.HDR4real.com

Photoshopping with Shining Armor

You wonder how anyone could move while dressed in this. From www.HDR4real.com

Standing in The Sun at Bodie Lighthouse

With a sky like this, the Bodie Island Lighthouse on the Outer Banks of North Carolina was an ideal setup for High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging. This shot is from a trip in December of last year. It was cold and the day kept going from cloudy to sunny and everything in between. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR – Schlumbergera Truncata - One of Many

This is our first Schlumbergera truncata for this year. Many more of many colors to come. I thought I'd do a "portrait" session? :-) From www.HDR4real.com

Abundant Color – Fall Fashion

Not every Fall is as stellar as the one I experienced a few years ago. This image is one of many that I hope to contribute to the (I’m sure) large pool of beauty that will be forthcoming from around the internet photosphere in the next couple of months. It was shot with a Nikon N90s and 28-70mm lens on Fujichrome Velvia film. For a deeper saturation, I used a polarizing filter. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR – River Dock in Duotone

This shot was beautiful in color but not very interesting. So, I decided to do an artistic twist by applying an Adobe Photoshop duotone treatment. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR – The Palace Vegies

A formidable vegetable garden, eh? Well, nothing is too good for the Guvna! The grounds and gardens at Tryon Place in New Bern, NC are HDR heaven. That’s the kitchen office in the background. This was 18th century “Royal” living in a rugged sort of way. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR – Lost in The Woods

Not really lost but this High Dynamic Range (HDR) image looks like I was. I know that this type of growth is not healthy for the trees but it’s really beautiful. Another part of the trail in River Park North, this scene reminds me of some surreal storybook tale of being lost in the woods. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR – Yes, You Can Get Married Here

While visiting Brookside Gardens in Silver Spring, Maryland, I found this small wedding gazebo nestled in the trees at the end of a long stone tile path flanked with high, majestic evergreens. . .a very picturesque setting. And perfect for this HDR image. Since the sun was extremely bright, the shadows were deep. So I used seven shots from -3 to +3 ev to balance the image. From www.HDR4real.com

Flaming Ford – pseudo-HDR

This image was produced from a single exposure that was originally shot using Fuji Chrome Velvia slide film and scanned at a high resolution. After minor adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw, I loaded it into Nik HDR Efex Pro to get this. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Garden Beauty in Monochrome

HDR Monochrome – Three Gulls and a Boardwalk

The boardwalk in Washington, North Carolina covers quite a long distance and on nice weather days is pretty crowded. . .even in the winter. This HDR shot was taken on a week day which explains the small to non-existent crowd. But the gulls seem to always be present in abundance. For this image, I was facing west with the winter sun pretty low in the sky. This gave me the great shadows on the railings. From www.HDR4real.com

Broken Bee in Sepia

OK, it’s just a broken wing. It didn’t seem to bee a problem for this bee though. From www.HDR4real.com

No Bait and Switch Here - Monochrome HDR

The great thing about doing HDR photos of a fisherman is that you can slow down and take as long as you want. I managed nine exposures for this shot since he was just sitting there like a statue. And with that beautiful scene, I couldn’t pass this one up. From www.HDR4real.com

Please Clear the Beach

This image was shot just before a huge storm rolled into the beach at Fort Macon State Park in North Carolina. Within an hour, the day went from bright and sunny to dark and cloudy. From www.HDR4real.com

Flowers at The Window

While trekking around the Medina in Rabat, Morocco, I couldn't pass up this beautifully landscaped wall and window. As you can see, the colors are incredible. :-) From www.HDR4real.com

Village Morocco Hills - Monochrome

Morocco is a beautiful country and I still have quite a few photographs to share from my stay there. This is another grab shot while traveling in the hills toward the Atlas Mountains. Everywhere I pointed my camera was total photo satisfaction. This village was teeming with activity. If you look really close, you can see it. From www.HDR4real.com

Crooked Trees - Oahu Hill in Monochrome

Ocean winds seem to have a beautiful affect on these coastal trees. This image was taken just south west of Honolulu on the Island of Oahu. Yes, no beach! The natural beauty of the islands speaks for itself. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - NC Dunes BW

The beauty of realistic HDR imaging is evident with this photo from Fort Macon beach in eastern North Carolina. From www.HDR4real.com

The Sum of Its Parts - The Old Violin

I decided to do a few High Dynamic Range shots of my wife’s violin since I’ve been having one of those “can’t go anywhere different” episodes. Being a musician myself, I see musical instruments as true works of art. I’ve tried to portray the beauty of a violin by emphasizing the curves as well as the mechanical elements. An old musical instrument can be a beautiful and artistic expression, even when not being played. From www.HDR4real.com

Tools

I found this old weathered Blacksmith Shop with an assortment of pieces of stuff and tools hanging on the outside wall. And, to be totally honest, I don’t know what any of it is for. I just thought the placement made for a nice “lines and circles” study. :) I have a feeling that someone who reads this post can enlighten me. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - After the Rain

The nice thing about the weather at the Inner Banks of North Carolina is that it’s always changing. And, for High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography, the changes are perfect. My last visit to Washington, NC was a real challenge since scenes like this were the norm. . .one minute clear skies with clouds in the distance and the next, rain. From www.HDR4real.com

Red Winged - A Minimal Expression BW

I spotted this lone, red-winged blackbird in a field of barren trees a few winters ago. While looking for interesting patterns in the leafless branches, the bright patch of red and yellow caught my attention. From www.HDR4real.com

Volubilis Morocco - The Aqueduct BW

One of my favorite places to visit in Morocco was the Roman ruins at Volubilis located near Meknes between Fez and Rabat. One meaning for the name is “sculpture” and I can only guess that the place had lots of sculptures at one time since it was a small Roman city. I’ve also found that the name in Latin means “Morning Glory”. That seems to go along with what I was told by the “freelance guides” at the ruins. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Classical Abstract in BW

I really enjoy photographing musical instruments. They’re great subjects for High Dynamic Range photography and make an artistic impression on me visually; like making music with a work of art. This is one of my guitars that I enjoy playing when I want to relax with something classical or even Celtic. From www.HDR4real.com http://www.hdr4real.com/2012/01/28/hdr-classical-abstract/

Lovely Meringue Abstract in BW

I chose this Lemon Meringue pie for something special; a study in macro abstract. Delicious! From www.HDR4real.com

Fire in The Sky BW

Couldn't resist this shot at one of the Great Baloon Races in Saint Louis Missouri. Clouds and the threat of storms don't always cause the race to be canceled. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Logged in Shades of Gray

On my HDR photo walk at River Park North in Greenville North Carolina, I couldn’t help notice the nice yellow flowers growing out of this log.(white here) There seemed to be a simple beauty about the whole scene. So, after processing the nine exposures, I got this result. Even though the light of the sun had been blocked by a temporary cloud cover, the nine exposures gave me an almost infinite tonal palette. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - The Old Violin in BW

This beautiful instrument is always a draw for me when doing my HDR macro work because of the fine details and artistic beauty. Being a musician, I can appreciate not only the artistry that goes into creating an instrument like this but also the beauty that is produced with it. From www.HDR4real.com

Big Walls Little Man in Rabat Morocco

The walls of these buildings and the light fixtures seemed very disproportionate to this man. A shot from my stay in Morocco. This is part of the Rabat Medina area. From www.HDR4real.com

Bare Limbs Monochrome

Barbed Beauty

This image is from way back when digital cameras were still trying to win the favor of the professional community. At that time, my camera of choice was a trusty Nikon n90s. This color slide image (probably some kind of Fujifilm product) shows the beauty and limitations of those great little transparencies. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Ripply Lake sans Color

From every direction, this lake at River Park North in Greenville, NC was an irresistible HDR photo opportunity. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Gnarly Monochrome Beauty

Gnarly nature at its best! From www.HDR4real.com

The Old Loading Dock BW

It seems like every town has an old warehouse district. This one looks like it’s been abandoned for many years. But, what fantastic material for HDR photography. I stumbled onto this loading dock while testing a new (old) zoom lens and I couldn’t resist taking a few shots. From www.HDR4real.com

River Dock in BW

Twisted Limb Monochrome

This image started as a color slide with mostly green and brown tones. By transforming the shot into a monochrome image, I managed to transform it into this more artistic expression of nature. From www.HDR4real.com

Antique Grunge in BW

Looking through our incredible collection of odds and ends, I found this old inkwell with an antique letter opener and an old, well used dip pen. From www.HDR4real.com

Lily of The Field BW

Forest Park in St Louis Missouri always has wonderful photo opportunities . . . landscapes, flowers on the grounds and at the Jewel Box, people, animals at the zoo, architecture, Hot Air Baloon races. The list goes on. My shot of this lily presented a great opportunity for a pseudo High Dynamic Range example. From www.HDR4real.com

Green and Yellow in Black and White

Saint Louis Botanical Gardens offers many photo opportunities. This shot is from an excursion a few years ago. From www.HDR4real.com

Flaming Ford in Shades of Gray

This image was produced from a single exposure that was originally shot using Fuji Chrome Velvia slide film and scanned at a high resolution. After minor adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw, I loaded it into Nik HDR Efex Pro to get a color version and then into Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 for this version. From www.HDR4real.com

Flower Box BW

Just couldn’t pass this one up. This was a pretty dark corner and I used only three exposures for this HDR image. The contrast of angles and lines with the flowers and turquoisie wall looked like a good opportunity for a geometric expression. This one is again from my photo walk in Washington, NC. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - The Arches in Fort Macon BW

This HDR image was taken at Fort Macon which is located in eastern North Carolina close to Morehead City. The fort has a rich history which goes back to 1834. The grounds are beautiful with access to the beach in a few areas. The park also contains a more modern visitor facility with displays and information about the history of the fort. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Storm Approaching BW

The day started with a very bright, sunny, photo excursion to the Emerald Isle/Crystal Coast area of North Carolina. And this is how it ended. We decided to head north to avoid the predicted quarter size hail that was probably only minutes away. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Boardwalk at Little Talbot Island BW

This is the end of the northern boardwalk to the beach at Little Talbot Island State Park in Jacksonville Florida. I know, these things can get pretty monotonous but hey, I don’t get to Florida very often. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Camellia in Pink

One of our Camellia bushes is pumping out dozens of blooms right now. For those who like Macro and Realistic HDR, this is almost heaven. :-) And like my previous shots of our white specimens, these are a deep pink. I hope to get some red next week. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Sun High Shot at The Beach

High Dynamic Range image - close to noon - Fort Macon Beach. With the sun almost straight up, it's not always easy to get a good shot. But with the help of Adobe, Nik and a plethora of other photography software developers, we can create works of art from shots that would be considered throw always only a few years ago. From www.HDR4real.com

Orchid Xtreme

I worked with a single raw file to produce a High Dynamic Range (HDR) image "look alike"; what I call pseudo-HDR. From www.HDR4real.com

Red Yellow Green Minimalism

This is one of my favorite minimalist images. From a Fujichrome transparency. From www.HDR4real.com

Polluted Beauty

Well I could have called this a natural fog I guess. But hey, reality is what it is. I added a little color punch to get a more pleasing look to this otherwise polluted scene. And the birds helped also. :-) From www.HDR4real.com

The Color Yellow

The fun of macro photography is getting more detail that is normally expected from small spaces. With this again, non HDR image, I selected a small part of this flower to enhance the beautiful yellow petals. From www.HDR4real.com

A Very Very Very Fine House

Where are the cats? From www.HDR4real.com

Ah, The Texture

After many coats of paint. From www.HDR4real.com

Light on Water

Wonder if they're biting. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Stairway to Somewhere

This stairway at Fort Macon in Eastern North Carolina leads to the upper mounds of the fort. Beautiful place to visit with the beach only a few yards away. From www.HDR4real.com

Garden Treasures

Azaleas in bloom along with a little ivy. From www.HDR4real.com

Schlumbergera Truncata in Oils

Schlumbergera Truncata in oils is an exercise in the use of the Oil Paint filter in Adobe Photoshop CS6. From www.HDR4real.com

The Gnarly Tree

I found this interesting tree while trekking the 4 mile trail in Little Talbot Island Park just outside of Jacksonville Florida. I only went about a half mile into the dense foliage when I stopped for this shot. Actually, the mosquitoes were so bad, I wanted to at least get one shot before I turned around. While setting up for this shot, more than a dozen mosquitoes swarmed my arms, neck and ears. Yuck! Sometimes the sacrifices we take are worth it? From www.HDR4real.com

HDR Save – Big Talbot Island State Park

This was an exercise in just how High Dynamic Range techniques can save an impossible shot. This image, shot at metered EV has so much contrast that it would take quite a bit of manipulation in Photoshop to produce an acceptable final image. The highlights were blown out beyond recovery. I worked with 9 exposures in HDR Efex Pro to balance the tonality and still get a realistic presentation of the scene. From www.HDR4real.com

Main Street Bridge in Jacksonville

I'm sure that lots of people have seen this bridge from many different angles. So, I thought I'd add a beautiful sky and sunset with the light shining on the water. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Schlumbergera Truncata in Pink

This flower is one of about 200 buds on our Schlumbergera Truncata plant, aka. Christmas Cactus. I thought I'd shoot an unorthodox example by working from the back of the bloom. From www.HDR4real.com

Ah, The Texture in Monochrome

After many coats of paint. From www.HDR4real.com

A Golden Oldie in Monochrome

I dug into my archived images for this one. This image is from a 35mm Fujichrome Provia slide that I shot long before digital was popular with the masses. From www.HDR4real.com

Just a Little Sunshine

After a day of clouds and rain, the sun started to break through on a chilly, March afternoon in Washington, North Carolina. Washington is one of my favorite places for casual shooting. With the older architecture, beautiful river walkway/boardwalk and (always) stunning cloud formations, there’s never a dull photographic moment. From www.HDR4real.com

Monochrome Lines and Texture

Today is another HDR, photo art expression from Washington, North Carolina. I decided to push this image beyond reality for more of a modern, High Dynamic Rangy look. (But not too extreme) From www.HDR4real.com

At Union Station

Ever catch something out of the corner of your eye that's totally unplanned? That's what happened with this shot taken at Union Station in Saint Louis, Missouri. From www.HDR4real.com

Fire In The Sky in Monochrome

End of day is only another beginning of the blackish essence of nightness. End of day, end of light, end of sight, ending now. Gibberish? Quite so! From www.HDR4real.com

The Sun Comes Shining Through

Living so close to the Atlantic Coast, there’s never a dull (sky) moment. Perfect for HDR imaging. This is a typical example of certain seasons of the year in Eastern North Carolina. The awesomely heavy clouds seem to always be breaking to reveal the radiance of the glowing sunlight. Poetic huh! Nik HDR Efex Pro Adobe Photoshop CS6 From www.HDR4real.com

Photo Art Floral Mystery

This is another “Just Beyond Reality” HDR image. Well, maybe way beyond reality. Anyway, it’s not often that I dive into the deep end of the HDR pool but this flower (don’t know the name. Help!) is a perfect candidate for some over the edge post processing. My original image was nice but not very dramatic. I went through many stages to take this image from HDR reality to what you see here. From www.HDR4real.com

Fort Macon Tones in Monochrome

Photo Art to Techno Art is Still Art. With HDR imaging, it’s very easy to transform photographs into unique works of art by manipulating the images with one or a combination of the many software tools available. Wherever you fall in the line of photo purist to photo techno geek, I hope you can appreciate the fact that art is simply an expression of the artist. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR Rosy Compositions in Macro Monochrome

Taken from a study in composition using roses and the rule of thirds. From www.HDR4real.com

The Palace Vegies

A formidable vegetable garden, eh? Well, nothing is too good for the Guvna! The grounds and gardens at Tryon Place in New Bern, NC are HDR heaven. That’s the kitchen office in the background. This was 18th century “Royal” living in a rugged sort of way. From www.HDR4real.com

Old Rabat in Monochrome

This is a view from the ocean looking inland. The clouds almost stole the show. Morocco in Northern Africa From www.HDR4real.com

Sepia Beauty in Long Lens Landscape

“Intimate Landscape”. I’m using a longer lens that I normally do to get a narrower angle of view. Here, I wanted to use the tree with the hanging grey stuff as my focal point. My wife says that it’s full of bugs, chiggers or something. At least, that’s the way it is down in Mississippi. Anyway, it looks kind of nice, contrasted against the rigid tree branches. From www.HDR4real.com

Mid Day Dreams - Color Monochrome

This was a chance to relax in the shade with shadows and highlights playing on the lawn. From www.HDR4real.com

A Very Very Very Fine House - Split Toned

I grabbed this old photo from my younger days and paired it with a song from my younger days. Think about it. (the cats are in the backyard) This house is close to a university in a small midwestern town with very interesting inhabitants. This abode is an example of the eclectic diversity of the community. I decided to do something a little different and process this image as a split tone using blue and yellow. In this case, the separation of shadow and highlight is enough to really take advantage of tonal variation. From www.HDR4real.com

Looking Down at Fort Macon

This is Fort Macon and today I’m showing you what it looks like at the top of the steps with this HDR image. I was really drawn to the multitude of angles, vertical, horizontal, diagonal and the curve just below left center. From www.HDR4real.com

River Park Talls in Monochrome

River Park North in Greenville NC From www.HDR4real.com

Garden Treasures in Monochrome

Azaleas in bloom along with a little ivy. From www.HDR4real.com

Ice and Upside Down Trees in Monochrome

This one is from a very cold February day in Missouri just across the Clark (Mississippi River) bridge from Alton Illinois . . . my old stomping grounds. This is part of an area where all the trees were dead and sticking out of the shallow back water. The mixture of ice and snow on parts of the water formed interesting patterns. From www.HDR4real.com

Serene Scene at Brookside Gardens

One of the nice things about High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging is that an image with few shadows can still be manipulated for a dramatic result. From www.HDR4real.com

Monochrome Light on Water

Wonder if they're biting. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR – Smoky Mountains Winter Beauty

Well, almost winter. This HDR image is from my trip to see family during the Thanksgiving holiday. We managed to hit just about every rest stop along the way and I decided to check out the scenery. The Smoky Mountains are beautiful no matter what time of year you visit or just drive through as we did. From www.HDR4real.com

pseudo-HDR – Dwarf Nandina

I decided to walk around my yard with a Macro lens for a few close up, pseudo HDR images. I planted some dwarf nandina plants a couple of years ago and they are still pretty dwarfy. Guess they’re slow growers. From www.HDR4real.com

Gated Weeds in Monochrome

The weeds are winning. From www.HDR4real.com

Photo Art in The Smoky Mountains - Black and White

One of my pics from the Smoky Mountains. I decided to take this image through a monochrome conversion then work with Adobe Photoshop CS6 HDR Toning to get this soft, artistic expression. From www.HDR4real.com

An Odd Fellow in Monochrome

One of the many trees on the grounds of the Gateway Arch in St Louis Missouri, this specimen stands apart. But ah, what great texture. From www.HDR4real.com

Soulard Stained Glass - Monochrome Cool

This image is one of the street level windows in an old church in the Soulard neighborhood of Saint Louis just south of the downtown area. Might be on 9th street but I can't remember now. The ivy had pretty much covered the entire wall which gives a beautiful texture for lots of drama. From www.HDR4real.com

Oahu Beauty in Monochrome Landscape

The intricate details of these twisted trees form interesting patterns on the hillsides of Oahu. From www.HDR4real.com

Soulard Lines - Monochrome Cool

Horizontals and verticals came together for this shot with just enough nature to add some life. From www.HDR4real.com

Matts Alley in Monochrome

A walkway between buildings in Washington, North Carolina. From www.HDR4real.com

First Orchid Macro Monochrome

This is a close look at our first orchid of 2012. Five images were processed in Adobe Photoshop. From www.HDR4real.com

The Color Yellow Monochrome Keyed

The fun of macro photography is getting more detail that is normally expected from small spaces. With this again, non HDR image, I selected a small part of this flower to enhance the beautiful yellow petals. From www.HDR4real.com

Orchid Xtreme in Monochrome

I worked with a single raw file to produce a High Dynamic Range (HDR) image "look alike"; what I call pseudo-HDR in beautiful monochrome. From www.HDR4real.com

Love That Ivy

. . . poison, that is! Even though this stuff causes major problems for lots of people, it’s still a beautiful plant. And with this gnarly bark, it makes a really nice, textural contrast for nature photography. From www.HDR4real.com

A Plethora of Nandina in Monochrome

I decided to get up close and personal with some of my Nandina bushes, aka, Heavenly Bamboo. Since we have at least thirty of these prolific plants (they grow like weeds), I chose this macro shot where the color of the berries is just about half way to full red.(gray in this version) :-) From www.HDR4real.com

Polluted Beauty in Monochrome

Well I could have called this a natural fog I guess. But hey, reality is what it is. I added a little contrast punch to get a more pleasing look to this otherwise polluted scene. And the birds helped also. :-) From www.HDR4real.com

Sun High Shot at The Beach

High Dynamic Range image - close to noon - Fort Macon Beach. With the sun almost straight up, it's not always easy to get a good shot. But with the help of Adobe, Nik and a plethora of other photography software developers, we can create works of art from shots that would be considered throw always only a few years ago. From www.HDR4real.com

Main Street Bridge in Jacksonville - Monochrome

Who says beautiful sunsets can't be experienced in black and white. I'm sure that lots of people have seen this bridge from many different angles. So, I thought I'd add a beautiful sky and sunset with the light shining on the water. From www.HDR4real.com

Almost Ready Rhododendron - Black and White

Can't wait!!! From www.HDR4real.com

Photoshopping with Shining Armor

You wonder how anyone could move while dressed in this. From www.HDR4real.com

Edgy Footprints in The Sand - Monochrome

This shot is from our last summer trip to the beach at Fort Macon in Eastern North Carolina. This was just before a very large storm rolled in so I was lucky enough to get the last bits of sunshine glistening off of the sand. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Camellia in Violet

One of our Camellia bushes is pumping out dozens of blooms right now. For those who like Macro and Realistic HDR, this is almost heaven. :-) And like my previous shots of our white specimens, these are a deep pink. But with a little help from Photoshop, I converted to a nice shade of violet for a little variety. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Open Air Chapel in New Bern

The city of New Bern in eastern North Carolina is a great place for photography with a rich history and many fantastic "visuals" including this church and Tryon Palace and gardens. From www.HDR4real.com

Rabat Morocco - Cats in The Medina

An environmental candid! From www.HDR4real.com

HDR Hibiscus in Red

Our Hibiscus plants were just about bare for this year but I managed to find one last bloom for this HDR image. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR – Lotsa Detail for a Puzzling Pic

Now this HDR image would make a great 500 piece puzzle. Imagine trying to work with all that detail. This is another shot from River Park North in Greenville, NC and my last for awhile. I’ll be heading south for the rest of this week . . . South Tar Greenway in Greenville. We are blessed with some beautiful natural scenery here and I’m taking advantage of the lush foliage this year. This image is what I call an “Intimate Landscape.” I really enjoy those broad vistas but also love the challenge of working in a tighter, natural space like this. It’s composing from a slightly different, more critical perspective that makes this interesting for me. From www.HDR4real.com

Zygocactus - Christmas Cactus in White

Not HDR but this flower, also known as Schlumbergera Truncata (honest), is another of our Christmas Cactus plants in full bloom. I really like these small flowers with their texture and beautiful petals. I think this is my last for this year since our blooms seem to be finished for now. From www.HDR4real.com

Textured Blue

Can't get much more texture than this. Texture added via Adobe Camera Raw. From www.HDR4real.com

pseudo-HDR – Still Holding On

Though this shot is not a true High Dynamic Range (HDR) image, I worked to make it look like what many folks call HDR. Guess it’s another realistic, pseudo-HDR. And from a color slide no less. It’s amazing what we can do with software. From www.HDR4real.com

A Dash of Color

A quick photograph for today. I like the colors. From www.HDR4real.com

Soulard Window Leaves - Monochrome Cool

This old building in the Soulard neighborhood of Saint Louis kept me busy with way too many photo opportunities. From www.HDR4real.com

Sooner Than You Think in Monochrome

I thought I’d post a glimpse of what is surely to come in the next few months . . . at least in the northern parts of the country. Yes, It’ll be here sooner than we think. But, I probably won’t be able to enjoy(?) the cold, damp, windy, snowy, icy weather here in eastern North Carolina. From www.HDR4real.com

The Gnarly Tree - Shades of Gray

I found this interesting tree while trekking the 4 mile trail in Little Talbot Island Park just outside of Jacksonville Florida. I only went about a half mile into the dense foliage when I stopped for this shot. Actually, the mosquitoes were so bad, I wanted to at least get one shot before I turned around. While setting up for this shot, more than a dozen mosquitoes swarmed my arms, neck and ears. Yuck! Sometimes the sacrifices we take are worth it? From www.HDR4real.com

Big Talbot Island State Park - BW Trees

This was an exercise in just how High Dynamic Range techniques can save an impossible shot. This image, shot at metered EV has so much contrast that it would take quite a bit of manipulation in Photoshop to produce an acceptable final image. The highlights were blown out beyond recovery. I worked with 9 exposures in HDR Efex Pro to balance the tonality and still get a realistic presentation of the scene. From www.HDR4real.com

A Very Very Very Fine House - Cool BW

I grabbed this old photo from my younger days and paired it with a song from my younger days. Think about it. (the cats are in the backyard) This house is close to a university in a small midwestern town with very interesting inhabitants. This abode is an example of the eclectic diversity of the community. From www.HDR4real.com

pseudo-HDR – Rhododendron Almost There

This is a shot of the same plant that I worked with a few months ago. The blooms were there then but not yet “coming into color” so to speak. This pseudo-HDR image shows a little more progress. But, they’re still not opening up fully due to our crazy weather here in eastern North Carolina. At any rate, I thought this bud was still worthy of display with it’s intensely vibrant colors. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Power in Nature

I know, bad joke. Oh well. This High Dynamic Range (HDR) image was taken last summer at River Park North in Greenville North Carolina. I've pretty much exhausted my stash of shots from that beautiful park so I decided to post this one. It's a little different than my usual nature shots but I liked the power lines and all those electrical towers. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - Dunes and Sky Drama

This is a scene from the west side of the dunes on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. From www.HDR4real.com

River in Winter

Winter on the Mighty Mississippi on the Missiouri side just across from Alton Illinois. I spent a few hours exploring the winterscapes a few years back and this is one of my favorites. Yes, that is ice floating down the river. From www.HDR4real.com

HDR - All About Clouds

HDR at the South Tar River Greenway in Greenville, North Carolina. On the day that I shot this image, I was overwhelmed with the cloud formations. This beautiful sky art is a common happening here in Eastern North Carolina. This is a slightly more artistic rendition of this image since I worked to get an extreme textural contrast between sky and ground. This gave me lots of detail in the trees and grasses as well as the clouds but pushed the foliage a bit beyond reality. From www.HDR4real.com

Monochrome and a Dash of Red!

This images is a result of using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 for a monochrome conversion of a color image and then saving to use the paint tool in Adobe Photoshop CS6. From www.HDR4real.com

Monochrome - Cats in The Medina

An environmental portrait from Rabat Morocco From www.HDR4real.com

Beeing Artistic

This image is a result of some Adobe Photoshop playtime. I took the original and just started applying effects and filters. You never know what type of self expression you can come up with. From www.HDR4real.com

Dwarf Nandina in Monochrome

I decided to walk around my yard with a Macro lens for a few close up, pseudo HDR images. I planted some dwarf nandina plants a couple of years ago and they are still pretty dwarfy. Guess they’re slow growers. From www.HDR4real.com