Who is that guy?
Wed, Aug 21, 2013In my quest to HDR everything I thought to myself, "where better to start than with myself?" The problem is that I don't have many quality shots of myself. This got me to thinking that quality might be optional. After all, I'm going to tonemap it, so maybe nobody will notice. Now I just needed to find *any* photo of myself. Then it dawned on me, I'd recently sat for a selfie session.
To add context to what you're about to see, let me lay the groundwork. After I got my first set of gels I decided to pop one on an off-camera flash to light up a background. Then with my shoot-through umbrella and my other flash as my key light maybe I could take a cool portrait. Here's the problem- all I had available for a subject was myself. My wife and son had already gone to sleep or run off to hide or something. It was just me, and a model I am not. This lack of photogeneity is part of how I ended up behind the keyboard acting the role of internet smartass (how original). Pretty people have better things to do.
So I endeavored to find a selfie that would express who I am while not deliberately offending anyone. Here's what I came up with:
So I used that single exposure and piped it into a tone mapping program and got this:
This is tone-mapped with the "creative" preset that comes with Photomatix Pro as the starting point. Then I added some micro-smoothing and some shadow adjustments, but no other processing aside from re-framing the image in Lightroom. BTW, blame me for the results, not Photomatix Pro. Those folks make a great, easy-to-use piece of software, so please don't allow my jackassery to besmirch those folks' good name.
The big advantage to using a single-exposure HDR here is that it removed the chance of ghosting due to my movements between multiple shots. I'm a shaky guy, and I can't help it. Multiple frames here would have created a ghost gauntlet likely to knuckle under even the best ghost removal algorithm.
Anyway, that's a picture of me. HDR something; do it enough and we'll HDR the world!