Published on Bill Fortney!

  Motion photography in HDR

Hey Hey!

My friend Bill Fortney just published one of my HDR photos to illustrate how you can use various types of tripods to get "surprising" shots.

To check it out please go here!

In this photo I wanted to try and see what motion would look like in an HDR photo.  In my first attempt the exposures were way to long, and the trains actually disappeared.  So unlike my other HDR where I kept the ISO down at 80, these are way up at 1600.

And in my final photo of the day I wanted you to see what it looks like when a group photo is requested...and you get a lonely tripod field of dreams...

If you get a chance do attend a His Light Workshop!  It is so much more than the photos!


Tripod field of dreams!

Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams at 45F! Went out to test a new camera tonight....a Fujifilm X20.  Out of the box, with no manual read yet...all I can say is that for a point and shoot I am amazed.  Almost able to do sports photography AT NIGHT!

I picked up this camera as a go everywhere camera.  I really enjoyed the X10, but this new camera has a viewfinder which actually works.  I can read focus point and other information inside the viewfinder.

There are a lot of other little improvements I still have to learn, but so far so great.

For this photo I shot it in color, and converted it to B&W in Perfect Suite's B&W.  I used a full dynamic range B&W conversion, and loved what I saw on the big screen in terms of available range and detail.

So far highly recommended....just too tired tonight to write or think any harder.



Game on!

T-Ball Season is on! T-Ball season is on!  I've been moving up the baseball chain with my older son, and now its time for my younger son to join in the games.

This is a typical early season sight...multiple players creating a scrum for the baseball...oh that's a rugby term?  Well it might as well be rugby for the first few weeks.

By the end they will start actually making a few plays..that is just the way it is.

So the challenge for the photographer is finding the scene which captures the love of this new game...with the innocence of youth springing forth in boundless energy.

In all, it is a wonderful journey to take frame by frame.

Because in a blink of an eye they will be....ready to fly away.

Ready to fly to the ball.


Bel Air Glamor

Glamour Glow Special One of the effects of HDR photography is also to bring out textures and color in a very realistic way.

I took this photo and had some fun with it in HDR Efex Pro 2, then ran it through Color Efex 4.  Sharpened to taste and called it a day.

RC Conception pointed out to us on the second night that the purpose of HDR is to get a good product to finish in post processing.  He found many people shot, process and don't finish.

It would be like writing the first acts of a play, and then walking away from the final act.

I called this Bel Air Glamor because the Glamor Glow filter seems to be all the rage in many a circle today, and I wanted to try it out for myself.

If you want to see some really extraordinary HDR check out both RC Conception's website and Jim Begley's.  Both are true master artists with this technique.

Check them out at and



Mail Time!

Postal Car HDR at Southeastern Railway Museum. Day Three at the Old Car City HDR Workshop took us to the Duluth, Georgia Southeastern Railway Museum.  Twenty six photographers danced their way through this car...which except for the cooking cars was the top attraction for the day.

The team was fantastic. During the day talked gear, life, Christ, and how to get shots right in camera.  It was big boy rules, if you wanted help you got it.  If you did not want help you just shot... and shot...and shot again.

This postal car was the first scene one I wanted to process and share.

I'll write more later.  For now I wanted to let you know to keep His Light shining in your hearts and send it out for all to see.

God Bless.


Buick at Peace

Buick spends its final days in peace... A lovely day to shoot in Northern Georgia..Day Two of His Light's Old Car City HDR Workshop.

Check out to see what it is all about...It is heaven sent for photos and the soul.

More class now!


Day One at Old Car City

Desoto puts a twinkle in my eye on Day one of Old Car City... Heading back into the evening class...put wanted to post something from this morning.  Six miles of trails and seventy years of cars to photograph!  I only covered two small yards so far, and they are full of fun shapes and images just crying to be photographed.  I am of course the only Pentax shooter here!  So my stuff does not get borrowed much for some reason.

Getting ready for critiques tonight and learning from what I've done and failed to do...

More tomorrow!


Old Car City

Old Car City Workshop ahead! I arrived and met the gang of His Light Photographers...

This weekend will primarily be an HDR photograph weekend.  That means multiple exposures with the same aperture which over and under expose the image.  This batch of photos becomes data for combination into a single image.  A program will merge the images, taking the best exposed parts of each exposure and make them one photo.

Why do this?  Well a camera, even the best camera built, still cannot see what your eye sees in one frame.  So to replicate what your eye sees you need merge a few frames and make and HDR to capture the dynamic range of light that is actually right in front of you...if you look hard enough.

If you want to know what is going on, and the program...I'll fill you in a bit over the next few days.  Until then check out  and see what it is all about.


Spring's a coming!

Spring is a coming to Atlanta! Signs of Spring are popping out here in Atlanta.  Just about one year ago we saw out current home for the first time.  It was the third of forty homes we would see...and I knew it was "the one".

If I get to shoot it again I'll try for the hyperfocal effect..but for now the hint of Spring color on a warm later winter day will have to do!  In this shot I wanted the heavy bokeh and got it instead of hyperfocal.

Techies...K-5 with 60-250 set at 153mm ( 229mm in 35mm terms), F4.5 and 1/400 @ ISO200.


Friday Night Family

Doing the dishes with your girl can draw out a cute smile! By Friday I am smoked.  Coming home from work all I could think of was getting dinner down and crashing.  As God would have it I walked into the kitchen with four kids all doing their assigned tasks (table setting, feeding baby, getting water) while Mom and the five year old boy spoke to Grandma on the phone about his Valentine card.   Somewhere in there dinner was almost done on the stove.  Each child broke away from their job one at a time to give me a hug before I put my work bags away and hang up my coat.  We had a great dinner, and then my daughter hopped to her newly assigned duty of clearing the kitchen with me.

The reason you see her not because Dad was goofing off with his camera ... but because I had her favorite music kicking on my iPad.  We trade turns choosing songs while we work.  It is sweet and fun to be able to enjoy my eldest daughter on nights like this..and let me remember why there was so much more than a nice nap waiting for me at home on Friday night.

For you techies...nothing fancy.  Just a snap with Mr. Pentax K-5, Sigma 17-50 zoomed out to 50mm  So on the crop it gives me a 75mm short telephoto compression effect.  I used a high contrast B&W conversion in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 with a sepia tint.  I used a U-Point option here to increase the exposure on her face and skin...which of course helped remove some minor flaws just like they do with fancy smancy models.



A little 3rd Grade ingenuity You need to keep your smarts up when you want the trains to run on time!

This is what you get when you want to make sure you don't cut through the wires with busy trains running over them.

Kalen wanted a few photos for his grand parents, and of course I wanted one to see if I could make something interesting out of a simple floorplan shot.

This was my fun shot...for the geeks I desaturated most color except for yellow and red. Then I threw a Kodachrome filter on it in Perfect Effects...and the camera was a simple Olympus ZX-1 point and shoot.


Pool Shark

A boy plays his first game of pool... My son plays his first game of pool...while doing a Cub Scout achievement no less!

To capture a moment of timeless contemplation what else to do other than get a nice photo finished as sepia?

I am really starting to enjoy environmental portraiture.  To photograph people in their element makes catching a glimpse of their soul so much easier!

For you camera geeks like me...shot with a Pentax K-5, Sigma 17-50 F2.8 OS with reflection coming off the pool table itself actually giving me some fill light!  Fantastic combo of camera and lens.  Post was completed in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.


Skip Cohen is Back!

Skip Cohen is back! Hello everyone!

Skip Cohen has been very helpful to me as a mentor in learning about the business of photography.  He's got me introduced to some great photographers and friends in the industry in the last few months.  He has an interesting past full of helping others at PPA, Hasselblad, and through Skip's Photo Network.  You can follow his latest sharing resource at  If you want to learn, grow and go somewhere on the professional side of photography he has lessons or experts he shares everyday.

So when he asked me to put out a short message for him it is a no brainer to do him a favor.

"Skip Cohen is Back!"

What it means I do not know....but I am sure we shall see soon



Study in Light

Light Study I was testing out a new camera and I observed these lights in the dining room.  I wanted to see how the sensor would handle the bright filament.  Would it totally destroy the photo? did not.  Instead I got a very nice study in light my naked eye could not see!  The study I enjoyed the most was the "bent" light coming from the glass around the filament.  I enjoyed the curves above and below the lights, and the built in vignette coming from my focus on the bight light at the heart of the photo.

So the moral of the story here is to remember that glass is a very helpful element in a photo, but sometimes you just have to take the shot and adjust based on the elements composing your photo.