Continuing my series of images taken along Grand Avenue in Phoenix, Arizona:

After the nice pastoral scenes of my last couple of posts, I felt like getting back to some grunge tonight.  It’s been a tough week!

This shot was one of the last ones I took when we did our photowalk on Grand Avenue a couple of weeks ago.  I shot three bracketed photos through an opening in the chainlink fence to capture this hidden corner between two seemingly-abandoned buildings.  The sun was just behind the building on the left, so it posed some exposure challenges.  I purposely left a little grain in the image because I think it fits the mood:

HDR created from three hand-held bracketed photos (-2.0/0.0/+2.0) processed in Photomatix v4. Post-processing in Topaz Adjust / DeNoise with Paintshop Photo Pro X3.

So many more images from that day that I would love to share….

Bike Night Grunge – Single Image HDR

I’m posting early today because I have these shots that I processed late last night that I truly love.

When we were at Bike Night on Thursday, we were surrounded by gorgeous, shiny, powerful machinery with lots of chrome and highly polished surfaces.  And in the middle of all that bling, we found THIS bike.  It looks like it might have been buried in someone’s barn or possibly under a sand dune for years…or maybe it belonged to Mad Max.

Anyway, the grunge bike looked like the perfect candidate for some HDR treatment, but since I was shooting in a low-light situation without a tripod, I was doing good to get a single exposure, much less a bracketed series.

So, I used Topaz software to create an HDR effect.  First I used Topaz DeNoise to clean up the digital noise speckles in the photo.  Then I used Topaz Adjust, playing with the presets and sliders to get just the right amount of detail and color saturation.  Finally, I used the Paintshop Pro X3 Curves tool to tweak the exposure, then the Sharpen tool to define the edges.

Be sure to click on the images to view them large on black…it’s worth the extra click!

Bike Night on Veterans Day 009

Bike Night on Veterans Day 011

Bike Night on Veterans Day 010

Extreme HDR – Grunge and Painterly

Still working on photos from my trip to Mississippi.  Tonight I was playing around with some bracketed shots, trying to get some HDR’s processed, but it was one of those nights where I just couldn’t get anything to look the way I wanted it to.  So I decided to just go with the flow and try out some of the presets in Photomatix – grunge and painterly.

This first shot is an example of the “grunge” setting.  I found this old swing hanging in the trees near a neighbor’s house at Lake Mohawk.  I loved the way it was almost sitting on the ground, suggesting that someone very heavy had used it last.

Swingin' (or trippin'?)

This next shot is of a chimney that was left after a house fire.  I’m not sure what it is about that area, but there are more house fires than can possible be considered “normal”.  Anyway, this one happened some time ago, and the chimney still looks pretty good, especially in the “painterly” mode: