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“Turning a Tree into a Chair…
The Tree is there. Someone comes along with his/her tools: Axe, knife, etc.. He whittles a chair out of it. Now the chair is there.

Now once it’s a chair you have the option to leave it like that or you can carve details into it, paint it, and/or add upholstery. It’s still a chair whether you improve upon it or not… It just then becomes a specialized type of chair like Victorian, modern, or such.

That’s what HDR does. It adds details, paint, and upholstery to the Photograph. It’s still a photograph, but now enhanced. If you like the regular old whittled chair then don’t HDR it… But if you think your [chair would look better to you]  in HDR then do it…”   GusDoeMatik   ( from Scott Kelby, Photoshop Insider)


The is a raging debate about whether HDR Photography is a valid art form or not.  There tends to be two camps – you love it or you hate it.  I’ve found it growing on me . . . mainly because of the challenge of learning new techniques in post processing.  I am keeping an open mind and learning as much as I can about it as just one more tool in my arsenal.  I can see where certain photos will adapt very nicely to HDR while others – not so much.  I tend to be a realist, and like my photos to portray the reality in a scene.  I think HDR has the ability to make you feel as though you are in the photo – as though you were really there in that moment.  I think really good photography SOOC also has that ability – so I guess the challenge is to find a healthy balance.  Since my journey through this learning maze has just begun I’ll keep y’all posted!  

Following is another of my attempts at HDR, followed by the original SOOC.  It had just rained, and then the sun came out.  Very typical for Cariboo Country.  We took advantage of the break in the weather and I quickly set up my D7000 on timer and bracketing (2 stops under and over).  

137-365

137-365

Original (normal exposure) unprocessed photo:

137orig-365

137orig-365

“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” David Frost

I learned this lesson a bit late in life.  I spent my first 40+ years doing what I believed I was supposed to do – what was expected of me.  I never believed I had permission, or the right, (in fact it never even occurred to me it was ok) to steer my own course.  I married at age 19, two weeks out of high school.  He was a good man, good husband, good father, good provider.  He did not want me to work – in fact he used to joke that he just wanted to keep me barefoot and pregnant.  So I was a stay-at-home mom until my kids were older.  Two children and 15 years later I was starting to feel like something was missing in my life – even tho I had a good life and I was very involved and busy, working and taking care of my family.  Still, I believed I had no right to feel the way I was feeling.  I carried this with me for another 10 years until not only was I struggling mentally, but physically I was falling apart.  Even then – I could not show the world what was going on inside me.  Especially since to the world, I was happy and my life was “perfect”.  

Fast forward another 15 years when I experienced a complete physical and emotional breakdown, divorced my husband, and moved back to my roots.  In 2003 I married the man I believe I was destined to be with.  This year I am 60 years old and still finding my way, but with a vision that connects me with my true inner self.  I’m a work in progress, but I know what is important to me and that is where I focus my energy.  I cherish every moment of my life because each second of experience has crafted the person I am today. I truly feel the energy I put out (negative or positive) comes back to me in spades.  So my focus is to be a positive influence in the lives of those around me, including my kids, step kids, grandkids, the Father of my Children, the Mother of my Step Son’s, extended family and friends. 

Therein, I believe, lies the secret to success.  Live your truth.  Live your passion

126-365

126-365

“A human act once set in motion flows on forever to the great account. Our deathlessness is in what we do, not in what we are.”  George Meredith

While spending time at the Lake for our Anniversary, I was studying video’s on HDR and trying out different types of shots for my 365.  this day we spent in the boat going around and around in circles trying to capture motion and a sense of  blurring when you do panning shots.  Not so successful with the panning . . . but I like this one of motion . . . so processed it in HDR.  My second attempt.  I think it’s a bit oversaturated . . . so I have a bit more work to do!  It’s a process right??  I’ve also included the original for reference.

125-365

125-365

125-365 original

125-365 original

“One may have a blazing hearth in one’s soul and yet no one ever come to sit by it.  Passersby see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on the way.”  Vincent Van Gogh

My husband and I have gone away to the Lake for a few days for our Anniversary.  It’s up in the Interior of BC, about a six hour drive from where we live in the Greater Vancouver area.  It’s incredibly peaceful and lovely.  This time of year however, it is still a bit cold out . . . hitting around Zero Celsius overnight.  We even had a sprinkling of snow this morning.  Thus a fire in the hearth was quite mandatory!  I processed this photo in HDR using Photomatix, Lightroom, and Photoshop.  I’m following tutorials by Trey Ratcliff of Stuck in Customs.  I have a lot to learn . . . but practice makes perfect.  

I’m quite determined to learn as much as possible about my Passion – Photography.  I may be sixty years old, but my mind is ready and willing to soak up all it can.  Like the quote above  . . . if I just sit idly by I will get no where and wonder why no one notices.  It’s not as easy as I thought it would be to stretch my creativity . . . because I’ve lived with some pretty set boundaries and expectations all my life.  Boundaries and expectations that have kept me safe, and close to the hearth.  I’m working on changing that . . . although it is a nice comfy place to rest from time to time!

124-365

124-365

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”  Mahatma Ghandi

Love my Cherry trees.  We planted two in the front yard just a couple of years ago.  I look forward to their blossoms almost as much as I do the Stellata Magnolias!  I converted this photo to B&W using Lightroom, did some HDR in Photomatrix, and added some texture in Photoshop.

104-365

104-365


This is the original photo – SOOC before any editing.
104orig-365

104orig-365

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