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I’ve again stumbled upon someone claiming that one Raw is as good if not better then bracketing when making a HDR image…
Thought I’d debunk this ones and for all.

This is the bracket I used in this example, it’s from -4 ev to +4 ev, 9 exposures.

Out of those 9 exposures I made this HDR in Photomatix Pro 4. There are virtually no clipping just some pixels directly in the sun.

This is the middle (0 ev) Raw file.

This is the HDR from a single Raw file, using the same settings as in the above, both the white and black end are clipped, there are lots of noise and loss of detail. The shadow areas that are without details are turning grey because of the tonemapping tries to compensate for black, it could be pulled down but that wouldn’t change the amount actual dynamic range, just make it harder to see.

And finally this is the middle exposure Raw file converted without ever going to HDR, but using every slider in my raw converter to pull out every last bit of information. There are clipping in both highlight and shadow and excessive amounts of noise, but to my surprise, the detail in the shadow area are greater then the single Raw HDR.

Still, the dynamic range in this is no where near what it is in the multiple exposure version. There are times when using one single Raw file is the way to go, for example if you have moving targets, but generally bracketing gives you a wider dynamic range with much less noise.

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Helloes!

I got the very bestest of comments on flickr: I think HDR, at least HDR done fairly modestly doesn’t destroy the image, but rather enhance it… HDR is not a specific look, but a way to get more tones to a photo, a Higher Dynamic Range… Sometimes it’s nice to have the very high contrast that generally digital cameras produce, but that is not real, it’s just the bad sensor technology we have today, I have no doubt that in the future sensors will increase in dynamic range and soon pass both analog film and later the human eyes… But until then we have to use the tools that are available to us…

HDR is such an infected word that it’s almost getting ironical…

Single frame

HDR

By the way, here is the flickr photos.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonasthomen/5888826498/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonasthomen/5887794383/

If a picture really says more then a thousand words, here’s a 2000+ word essay about my thoughts on Photoshop…

Before

After

We had another night of massive thunder and this time I didn’t (almost) get hit by it but instead took some photos… Normally I get 2-3 lightning exposures when I go storm-hunting, this time I got 26 frames..!

I developed the best one (in my opinion) spent a few hours on it, mostly color and contrast work and uploaded it to flickr. I noticed that they asked for pictures of the storm on the local newspaper, I don’t agree with their agreement for uploading photos (they take all the rights from you practically) so I put a link to flickr, no problemos…

Some guy (I assume) with the handle “Winnie the Pooh” said: “Nice picture Jonas, but everyone can use photoshop you should not over-do it.”

This bothers me… the Pooh guy is probably just some 14 years old TWAT that lives to put others down, but it still made me think… Does photo-muggles (non-photographer people) think that Photoshop is cheating or something..?! I have met quite many famous photographers while studying photography, I know how religious they are on the post processing, people can spend a whole day working on the same image on machines that doesn’t lag, so far I know of only one pro that doesn’t photoshop, or so he claims anyway…

I think that if you add things to the photo, or remove things, and try to pass it off as an unmanipulated photo, that is cheating, but if you always just take what the camera produces without working on it, that is lazy… The photograph is just a medium, people are not accusing painters or musicians of manipulating the reality…

So did I over-photoshop it..?

"Photoshoped"

Original

Älgen

I kväll for jag ut till en stor mosse i Pörkenäs skogen för att se om min favorit fiskgjuse häckar i år, någon fiskgjuse såg jag inte till men de fanns lite småfåglar så jag tänkte att jag fotar väl dem då. Jag stod med mitt 500mm teleobjektiv på stativet och försökte vara stilla så ja inte skulle skrämma en liten grej som hoppade på i en tall.
Plötsligt hör jag hur det knakar till bakom ryggen på mig, ja svänger runt o ser rakt in i ögonen på en stor älg som kommer sakta gående rakt emot mig, den var då på en ca. 30 meters avstånd. Jag blir rätt rädd för den är enormt stor, eller i alla fall verkade det så, och de är långt till närmaste människa…
Jag säger “Hördu älgen om du skulle ta o gå bort härifrån” den bara glor på mig och fortsätter att komma närmare, jag fortsätter prata “Fy fan vad stor du är” och lite allt möjligt jag kommer på, men det verkar som den bara blir mera nyfiken och när den är på ca. 10 meter så “flaxar” ja lite med armarna o ropar “Sjach älg, sjash!” Då stampar den i marken, jag känner hur de vibrerar och känner lukten av den, så nära är den… Jag börjar gå bakåt och då bestämmer den sej för att lunka iväg o ställa sig bakom ett träd och kolla på mig, då tar jag en serie kort av den, på lite mera tryggt avstånd, blev rätt skakigt, pulsen gick nog snabbare än vad som är hälsosamt…
När jag mötte björnar för några veckor sen så var det bara spännande, jag var inte alls rädd för dem, men den här älgen uppförde sej inte som älgar ska uppföra sig utan jag uppfattade den som hotfull och det skrämde mej…
Sedan gick jag rakt till bilen som är ca. en kilometer bort i rätt rask takt. När jag kommer ut på vägen börjar jag tänka på vad jag sa åt älgen egentligen, och går och små-fnittrar för mig själv… tur att ingen såg mig… =)
De nog kul med alla vilda djur i skogarna men jag vill nog helst inte att de kommer och hälsar på en… Det verkar som om djuren dras till mig, i förrgår fick jag en björktrast i huvudet när jag gick förbi en häck, ser jag ut som ett träd eller vad är det…

It’s been almost a month since we (me, my mother and my aunt) went trekking to Ylläs and the mountains around there… (19-22 July 2009) I’ve been meaning to write something about it for ages but I’m too busy doing nothing nowadays… well anyway, here goes…


Day 1
(From here to there…)

1 resan upp (604.2km)

Got up quite early, it’s about 600 kilometers from Jakobstad to Äkäslompolo, but before everything was packed in the car it was quite late… The drive was rather uneventful, lots of cars that was driving too slowly, especially trailers… I think people that are driving too slow is more dangerous in traffic then people that are driving too fast… We stopped for food in a place called Zeppelin, somewhere near Oulu, there we also drank coffee and went shopping a little… That happens when traveling with two ladies… =)
When we finally got to Shaumaja we unpacked had some coffee and went walking down to the lake Käsänkijärvi, the girls decided to go back to the house but I wanted to stretch my legs a little and walked around the lake in the bright evening… It was a beautiful scenery. I saw a reindeer with a calf that was trying to drink it’s mothers milk while the mother deer walked, looked pretty funny. Later on the other side of the lake I also heard some bird that I haven’t heard before, sounded quite spooky, a bit like a very short crow sound almost like barking, and it was very loud… I got out on the wrong side of the lake and had to walk on the roads back to the house… Thank gods for the GPS…

2 runt käsänkijärvi


Day 2
(Lainiotunturi – Kotamaja)

3 lainio-kotamaja
3 elevation

This day was hot, and it probably didn’t help much to walk in the middle of the day… The girls went to climb on Pirunkuru while I decided to go for a longer walk… I wanted to see the canyon on mount Lainiotunturi called lumikuru (snow canyon), so I walked about 10 km toward kotamaja and then just turned of the track and headed straight for the fell. It was quite though to climb the side of the fell was nothing but rocks and it was scorching sunlight anyway I got up and sat down on the highest peak and drank half of the water I had with me and all of my coffee… I got a bit worried that I didn’t have enough liquid with me but the view was awesome, absolutely worth it… I sat for almost an hour on this top and just enjoyed the silence, it was very silent…

View from Lainiotunturi

View from Lainiotunturi

I wanted to find the canyon lumikuru, that was after all the reason that I went climbing on this rather remote pile of rocks, but I had the misconception that it was on the north side of the mountain and the north side was very steep, I tried to go very close to the edge to see if I could locate anything that looks like the canyon but gave up after a while since I rather survive then get a photo… So I walked down from the peak toward the less steep side, found a tree that looked like a cactus, it was kind of fitting it felt a bit like walking in the desert. Then I walked the rest of the descend in the real lumikuru (I didn’t know that then) and headed towards where the trail should be, I walked and walked and started wondering if I already passed it without noticing, the trail was not on the GPS map, but I had a track where I walked and a point where I went off it and headed up the mountain side.. I decided to keep walking and eventually I found the trail and turned towards kotamaja.

A real Finish cactus

A real Finnish cactus

Lumikuru

Lumikuru

At kotamaja I found a well with fresh good water *bliss* I drank a lot and filled both the water bottle and the coffee thermos with cold water and headed back towards Shaumaja. When I left Kotamaja I met a guy that looked like Michael Jackson, I was planing on walking over the lower fell called Kukastunturi but I took the wrong trail and ended up walking under the fell instead… It was a quite easy walk but not much to see but forest… When I got almost all the way back I heard water streaming over rocks I stopped and looked if there was a photo waiting for me, there were two tree stumps, I got this weird feeling like one of them was looking at me and the next second it turned and disappeared into the undergrowth… I was left like… What i the world was that?! Then I started thinking that it was about the right size for a bear cub aprox. 30 cm high, the next thought was if there is a baby bear there has to be a mother bear somewhere. That got me walking again… I was making noise with my keys and looked around me more then usual… When I got back I talk to my brother and he said that it may have been a wolverine.. I guess it may… hard to say for sure, but something was in the bushes…

Äkässaivo

Äkässaivo

We ate some pasta thing and went to a mill and to Äkässaivo, a lake where they dumped (killed) old people that was a burden to the society, back in the old times… There were way too much mosquitoes to really enjoy it and I get somewhat stressed when I’m walking with people, I like to do it all in my own pace and stop and take pictures of what I like and such… But it was a fine nature and all of that…

Day 3 (Pirunkuru, Käsänki, Kellostapuli)

5 pirun-kellos
5 elevation

Started off early, another hot day… This time I took two water bottles, since I was gonna climb two mountains, and of course the coffee thermos since I was about to drink coffee on the tops… I walked away with my rather heavy camera bag to the pirunkuru canyon, pirunkuru means something like devils canyon, and there’s a reason for the name, which you’d notice when you are about half way up… I stopped and half sat down and pretended to take some photos while the sweat ran like… like someone who just climbed the devils canyon with the bright summer sun in the back… Ironically when I sat and was half dead an elderly couple came walking in a good pace past me, that felt unreal… Anyway I kept climbing and soon enough I got to the top of the mountain Käsänki, that mountain actually have two tops, one to the left looks higher and that is also where most of the piles of rock that people for some reason always seem to build on tops of mountains are but the one to the right are just a little bit higher according to the GPS so that’s where I went to intake the blood of the almighty coffee God… It was windy on the top and I was a bit wet so I didn’t sit as long as I did on Lainio tunturi the day before, instead I went to the western top and walked around for a bit, took some photos and headed back down pirunkuru, walking down these piles of rocks are actually worse then going up, when you are going up you are climbing but when you are going down you are breaking… When I got down met a family from germany (I think) that wondered how far it’s to the top? I said that It’s about as far as you can see… Then he asked how the terrain was up there… I just smiled a wicked grin and pointed at the rocks covering everything around here… “Good luck” =)

Top of mount Käsänki

Top of mount Käsänki

The journey continued around the eastern end of the lake and up on a 5 km long trail that was constantly uphill through forest, a forest that was full of horse flies, the kind of evil insects that bite you just because they can it seems… Not in self defense like wasps, and not to get blood like mosquitoes… I like most animals but those are just a pain in the… When the trail got too steep on the other side of the mountain there was stairs… I don’t really know what to think of that, partly it was a welcome ease but then again you are suppose to be in the wilderness, right? Or well, kind of anyway… I walked on the stairs and it was a fast and simple way to travel up a fell side when I got near the top I went of the trail again and headed towards the kellostapuli peak… I walked near the northern edge or the mountain and the top was really steep but I put the camera and everything loose in the bag and though that oh what the heck, let’s climb… The first half of the climb was pretty easy but the last 30-40 meters was a bit steeper and rocks started to slide under my feet… That was rather unpleasant since there was nothing to grab hold of at all and, in the worst case, about 100 meters of steep fell side without anything but rocks to slide down on… It turned out alright and I got to the top and had my second cup of coffee, it was awesome… I ate a sandwish and took out a mars bar that I managed to forget on the top… Hope some animal or something liked it, and didn’t get sick of it…

Pirunkuru seen from Kellostapuli

Pirunkuru seen from Kellostapuli

The climb down was about as the other climbs down I’ve done on this trip, horrible, just praying to the gods that they save the landslide to some evil person that deserves it. =) Breaks on full power… Saw a pretty nice tree on the way down but I didn’t fall and hurt myself… Came back on the trail and headed down down down… Followed a fell creek that was pretty darn beautiful and took a lot of photos… The trail here was made of a treetrunk sawed in half and was wide as the autobahn… It was a pretty nature and very easy to walk on… When I got down and met the trail that goes around the lake I somewhat misunderstood the signs and started walking in the wrong direction so I walked around the lake Käsänkijärvi again before getting back to the house, Getting to know this trail pretty well now… When I was on the north side of the lake it started raining… I had carried rainwear with me all the time so I packed the camera in the bag and took out the raincoat… Then it stopped raining… So very typical, though it started again later so… well… I bet that if I wouldn’t have been prepared it would not have stopped and I would have got soaked… =)

A most peculiar tree

A most peculiar tree

Fellcreek

Fellcreek


Day 4
(Seitakivi)

6 seitakivi

This last day I had a little sore legs and thought I would take the car north to a holy place I found on a map, where the people use to have their rituals to their Gods in the old days, it was a rock that was called Seitakivi (“magic rock” loosely translated) I went a little later then the girls that was gonna climb kellosstapuli that day… I had to go buy more bread and I did that before going to the rock… I figured I have lots of time, and I had…the terrain was quite different up here, there were no fells visible, just forest and swamps… When I got to the rock it was just a standing stone, about a meter high and a sign that said seitakivi… That was a bit of an anticlimax but I took some photos of it and the place was on a natural plateau above the river… Oh well I had a little sore legs and didn’t feel like walking much longer anyway… I went to pick up my company at the ski resort at ylläs, and we went to make food, pack, clean and leave..

Before we went on this trip I wanted to get the house Shaumaja in the GPS so that I would not have to look for it but there was virtually nothing on the net mentioning Shaumaja, so I took photos of the house before we left for home and put the address and coordinates on the flickr picture, so now when people are searching for Shaumaja they at least find it… how kind of me… =)

SeitakiviSeitakivi
Ollintie 3, Äkäslompolo (N67°36.531 - E024°11.765)

Shaumaja. Ollintie 3, Äkäslompolo (N67°36.531' - E024°11.765')

We was about to pick up my cousin that was coming from a long trek in Padjelanta, Sweden, but we wet too early from Äkäslompolo and we didn’t think about the time zone difference and the wait in Haparanda in Sweden turned quite long… My legs ached a bit now and I wasn’t too keen on walking around in Ikea and places like that but what can you do… We wanted coffee but almost everything was closed or just about to close when we arrived… Finally we found coffee on a fuel station *bliss*… My cousin arrived as planned with the bus and we drove the long way home, just stopped for some coffee and snack on the road… Well that’s it basically… It was a good trip, not too much injuries and my feet was ok… Nice weather, a bit on the warmer side but I don’t know what would be ideal… Kind of sucks when it’s raining all the time like last year…

Keeping it real =)

Keeping it real =)


Heli

Originally uploaded by Jonas Thomén

This was the helicopter that was circling around our village, that I wrote about in the last post. It was flying way too low and it was noisy… now the neighbor is cutting the grass *sigh*

I googled the internets and found out that this one OH-HLS is registered to a company called “Aero-kuva OY” and is taking photos… so with a little luck it got a photo of our house with me standing on the balcony taking photos of the helicopter, my father sleeping on the garden sofa and the whole garden full of drying carpets… =)

I’m thinking about going for a walk, but the weather is not the very best, it’s windy and looks like it might rain…