Two Photo Merges

Today I am going to act upon a suggestion from Nelson @ A few images, frozen in time and tell you about the software I use on my photos. I use Corel PaintShop Pro X6 because several years ago I got a copy of PaintShop X4 on closeout and two years later I was able to upgrade to X6 just as cheaply.

I use a simple one click photo fix that allows me to sharpen, brighten and adjust shadows and highlights from one place. I like this option since I do not like fiddling with my photos much. Why? I kind of like them as they are but sometimes you just need to give them a little love. Just saying. On the two below photos I used PaintShop’s HDR photo merge and took them with my Canon SX10is. As some of you know I am just getting into DSLR’s but used the Canon because it has an Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) mode where my  more expensive  DSLR’s do not…..lesson here is if you want to do HDR check the camera you are looking at for this function (AEB). You can do this manually but so far my results, read here stuff I like, is better served with the AEB mode. I use a simple approach at this time and choose one of the six defaults PaintShop presents.  I hope that helps anyone looking at getting into HDR even if just as a way t0o express oneself artistically. I hope you enjoy these two photo merges.

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A Couple Of Hand Held HDR Photos

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post I had spent the hour I had to kill taking some pics. Since I do not own a good, or even a half-way decent tri-pod I did these hand. With that said any ideas on a good-to-great-very-mobile-lightwieght-full-size-tri-pod?As I wait for replies to this question, here are a couple of hand-held HDR photos.

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Two Sides of Lincoln

After going to the farmers market The Bride and I went to visit a wonderful little hole-in-the-wall burger joint called Lahas. It has been in business since 1934  and we love just  the place! It is in an adjoining county to ours but the burgers are worth the drive. They have crinkle fries as well. Crinkle fries rule!  If you are ever in LaRue County Kentucky you need to check it out.

While I was there I took several photos of the above mentioned statues. Since I could not come up with a better title, I went with what it is: There are two statues in the town of Hodgenville, Ky representing two side of Abraham Lincoln. They are on the square and face one another on opposite sides of the square. Here are two very different takes of these statues. One is in HDR and the other is a traditional shot.

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I used my Canon Powershot SX10is in these captures.

A Trans Am In Three Flavors of HDR

I have a love for old cars and was stoked to find this old Pontiac. I am pretty sure it is a Trans Am of the mid-to late Seventies vintage. What I am sure if it is Cool even in its less than pristine condition. I saw this and thought it would be a great HDR subject. I took the photos to merge with my PowerShot SX10is. The very last picture, taken for comparison of original subject to HDR, I took with my Olympus SP-350. So here is a Trans Am in Three Flavors of HDR.

Bold and bright, a glimpse of a new tomorrow maybe?
Bold and bright, a glimpse of a new tomorrow maybe?
Still shining even in B&W even though its time has past.
Still shining even in B&W even though its time has past.
Yesterday, today and the future all wrapped up in one.
Yesterday, today and the future all wrapped up in one.
What it is: One cool old car!
What it is: One cool old car!

Cruisin’ Time Again

With the dog days of Summer upon us it can only mean one thing: It’s Cruisin’ Time! I have an affection for old cars and trucks so I am looking forward to the varies Cruises coming up here soon. In that spirit I started looking at some of my past shots. I am trying to get better at composing a photo when there is a crowd around. So I figured looking back was a way of planning ahead and being forward leaning. I found the photo below (A HDR merge I did several months back) I took when there was no one around and like it but the question I had was a simple one: How can I replicate this when cars are parked side by side AND people are in the mix. The answer is simple as well:I have no idea!

Well till the next time enjoy this really cool old car!


Small Town Honor



The original photos, to those shown above, I took in a small town a few county or two from our place.  The above photos show the Spirit of small town America and their way of  showing Honor. In just a few short years it will celebrate its 200th year as an incorporated city!

There is a back story as well to the display pictured here but that is for another post. Have a Happy and Safe Fourth and Happy Birth Day USA!

Silent Strength Stands Before The Coming Storm

Yesterday started out hot and muggy but with a sunny disposition. As I was winding up my day I headed home  in hopes of getting there before the coming storms. I arrived home and was at the computer looking at some photos I wanted to post when the storm showed up loud and proud. It was amazing to watch and the sound track was pretty rocking. In the mist of the arrival the lights flickered and then blackness. With candles and some LED flashlights fiddled about till bed time. And since the electricity did not come back on till sometime in the AM there was no new post.

Today the storms of last night got me thinking about some discussions I have had recently. You see it was six months ago that my Mom died. I always knew, in theory, that was inevitable: Death is a sure thing and it touches everyone. In conversations  with others I shared most of that difficult journey. I learned though sharing that I was not alone. We all have suffered lost, some recent some not so, that has changed us. If we are wise we share our sorrow, not out of weakness, though maybe in it so we can gather strength. It through the people planted in the Garden of our life, and it is as beautifully as any garden anywhere, that Hope and Healing blossoms forth.

We may look and feel a little older, and some of the luster of life has faded, yet strength is built through the storms of life. And because of that there is within us a silent strength that stands ready before the coming storm.

This is a HDR merge I did from a set of photos I took of this old yet beautifully barn. There was storm coming as evidence of the gathering and growing dark clouds.

“There is peace even in the storm”
Vincent van Gogh, The Latters of Vincent van Gogh

 May God give you…For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer.  Irish Blessing

Time Passed Me By


If this old wooden bridge could talk I am betting it would bemoan the feeling that it is past its usefully prime.  I can sense it would lament that fact and say  “Time passed me by”.  Yet I would argue with this fine old bridge and say it is still very useful.

For one I would point out that it is a reminder of a simpler time, when things were not hurried and rushed. Next I would attest to the fact it was fortunate that the builders built it well, as it has stood the test of time. It is, I must reminded it, a place where other have left their mark, not as vandals, but as people needing to make their mark in time for future reference. And finally I would confirm that it brings joy to many of us who have had the pleasure of its very presence.

Below is my tribute to this very cool and wonderfully bridge, rendered in HDR, from photos I took with my Powershot SX10is.

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A Caboose In HDR

I took the series of photos for this HDR merge without the aid of a tripod. I seem to see things that sing to me when I am not able to carry all my gear with me. I used my Powershot SX10is and just free-handed it. I used the grid in the view finder as a guide on each shot. I then did the merge with Corel PaintShop Pro X4. I am happy with it and hope you like it as well.


An Old Fire Truck In HDR

The Bride and I were on our way back from the big city when she spotted this old fire truck. What caught her eye was the vines that were trying to claim this fine old vehicle. We doubled back and I took several shots of this old truck. As I was standing there I thought it would make a great HDR merge. I did not have a tripod so I free-handed this using the grid on my view screen. I like it but you know one is loves or hates their own stuff so let me know what you think.

IMG_0014_5_6_7_8_9_Detail      The below photo is one of the originals I took for the HDR merge.