A friend of mine saw this photo on my website and said, “Nice HDR” Yes it has a lot of range to it, but it was only one shot. Most people are used to taking multiple exposures to capture each part of the range of light and then using a program to combine the photos for an HDR. With a good DSLR, in this case a Nikon D800, I was able to do this in one shot. Looking at the LCD monitor you would think it would come out terrible. Use the histogram to see exactly what you have. Too much on the left no darks, too much on the right no whites. The LCD is a jpg rendering of the photo and does not tell the whole story. Using Adobe Camera RAW I was able to bring out the shadows and take down the highlights to get the detail. A few more adjustments and there you have it.
I had mentioned in an earlier post about how strong the colors in Ireland. I am posting these photos as an example of just that. When shooting in RAW you need to usually make adjustments to the file to bring back some of the original color and contrast. I did not touch the color on these photos. In fact I had to bring some of it down so it didn’t look fake.
As a photographer we always want the early morning and late afternoon light. In this case it was a financial advantage to get here late. The Cliffs of Moher is a must tourist destination in Ireland. As such ti’s an opportunity to buy lots of stuff. So they have a wonderful parking lot that you have to pay to get in and a bunch of shops on the way to the Cliffs to purchase all the souvenirs you would ever want. My souvenir is the photography. Get there after 8pm and the lot is no longer manned and you can park without a fee. The shops and yes the washroom is also closed. But you can walk the cliffs and take as many shots as you want until the light is gone. I went back two nights (like you do) to hopefully get some sunset color. The first night not so good. There was another photographer there who had come 10 times and hadn’t got a sunset. Fortunately the second night I got a pretty good one, not the best but definitely workable. We also had taken the boat tour of the cliffs. I was assured that the water was smooth as glass. Not the case and not the greatest time of day so those photos will be left on my hard drive and not for public consumption. The view was pretty amazing though, you really get to see how massive the cliffs are.
If you don’t have the time to drive the Ring of Kerry which is a good days trip, the next best thing is the Gap of Dunloe. You can walk it or take a carriage ride. We opted for the ride which was a good idea, given the occasional rain, hills and already tired legs from the previous days hiking. This is a beautiful ride that goes through a bit of Killarney National Park. At the end of the journey you get aboard a large motorized canoe (holds 12) and cross three lakes back to the bus that will take you into town. The donkey was just hanging out when we were walking to the boat docks. He has nothing to do with the trip other than being cute.
There is a reason they call it “The Emerald Isle”. The green never ends. In fact some of the photos I will be posting in the next few days have been desaturated a bit because people will think the color is fake. I suppose when you get rain constantly that’s what happens. This was taken on a hike through the area know as Howth Head. A twenty minute trip from Dublin on the DART ( local train). The area is beautiful with cliffs and field of heather. Howth Head is the location where Leopold Bloom proposes to Molly in James Joyce‘s Ulysses. Of course there is a Castle there. As a matter of fact there are Castles everywhere in Ireland.
So I’m standing on fishing bridge in Yellowstone taking some shots of the ice still on the lake. I look to my right and I see this grizzly running down the street when he decides to take the sidewalk that I’m standing on. The park rangers are chasing him / her and yelling “Get off the bridge”. So I calmly do, fortunately the traffic is stopped watching this because that’s what getting off the bridge means. Go stand in traffic. I got these three not so great shots of the bear running by.