A few weeks ago, I was driving to a morning photography adventure and I happened to notice a great sunrise in my side mirror. I wasn’t in a hurry, so I pulled over and got the shot. It was a foggy morning, and I hadn’t expected the sunrise to be at all interesting. But the bright orange orb was shining through the fog and I had two great trees in front of me to ground the composition. I had a big smile on my face when I climbed back into my car a few minutes later!
I couldn’t resist – before putting my camera away, I aimed it at my side mirror and captured the sunrise through the mirror, too! After all, that was the shot that made me stop. (Note to self: put a towel in the car so that I can wash the window next time!)
Both of the above images were HDR composites of multiple images, blended together to produce a final image with a greater tone range. I’ve been experimenting with two HDR software applications recently, Photomatix Pro and Nik HDR Efex. I like how both have free trial versions so that you can experiment with them before buying. I think I like Photomatix a little better, although I usually end up applying a touch of Nik Color Efex Pro to my images after I finish with them in Photomatix. When I use HDR Efex, I don’t usually need to apply the tonal contrast in Color Efex, but I also just don’t like the images as much.
My pre-photo-adventure adventures weren’t quite over though. I continued driving along, then I noticed motion on the hillside. I stopped and looked and saw a coyote walking through the grasses. Then I noticed that he had his family with him – it appeared to be his mate and a fairly mature youngster. I’d never seen a coyote in the wild like that before. Very cool! He reminded me of my cat Squirt, stopping to sniff the breeze before he continued to trot along. He was very pretty to watch.
So that was the photo pre-adventure. The actual photo adventure will be in another blog post…
Want to learn more about nature photography at Lake County Backroads?
Check out my Lake County Backroads page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
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