Who is that guy?

Wed, Aug 21, 2013
In 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!