Gateway Trailhead and HDR Nirvana

Since there was this big football game yesterday (Who Dat!!), I took an entire day off from my new obsession and managed to keep my hands off the camera for an entire day.  But I made up for it this evening.  As soon as the workday was over, I got in the car and headed east on Bell Road, took a left on Thompson Peak Parkway, and pulled in to the Gateway Trailhead, a beautiful spot at the base of the mountains.  There are several trails there along with an unmanned visitor’s center and a small ampitheatre.  Tonight the sunset was gorgeous again, and so me, my Nikon and my tripod spent about an hour taking multiple series of bracketed shots for HDR processing.

I wound up with a total of 93 shots, so tonight I only processed the first thirty into ten HDR photos.  And I have to say that I’m pleased with the first ten.

For once, it seemed like I had my mind in gear and I was able to take my time and compose the shots that I wanted.  I played with the tripod, raising and lowering it so that I could get different angles on the shots (maybe Santa will be good to me this year and bring me a tripod with a ball head!).  There was a great variety of vegetation as well as the structures of the visitor’s center and the bridges so that there was always something to add interest to the photos.

For all these shots, I used my normal lens (18-55mm zoom), set to aperture-priority, ISO 200, and I bracketed +/- 2.0 EV.  I processed and tone-mapped the shots in Photomatix.

I can’t wait to continue processing the rest of these tomorrow night.  Darn it, if I didn’t have to go work…

You can view the entire set on my Flickr page by clicking here.

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3 comments

    • You’re absolutely right, Martin! It’s one of those little details that I keep forgetting, but thanks for reminding me. Hopefully soon I’ll get to the point where checking the ISO setting becomes a habit! 🙂


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