First attempt at HDR

I recently purchased the November 2014 edition of “Digital SLR Magazine” which contains an article on “Seasonal Inspiration”. One of the suggestions in this piece was a still-life photo (you know the usual couple of pumpkins, old bottle with some autumnal flowers stuck in it, all arranged in an artful fashion etc.) with a textured layer added to give it that painted-on-canvas appearance. So one overcast morning I thought I’d have a try at recreating a similar scene for myself.

The magazine explained the final photo was an HDR image comprising of three photos taken at different exposures (one stop apart). The aperture was f/18 using a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens & seeing as I have this lens I was fairly confident of my chances. However, when I came to create the HDR image in Photoshop Elements I could see the three images were not perfectly lined up. The method I had used was to take the photos in AV mode & to maunually dial up or down the exposure between shots. All this touching the camera (despite it being on a tripod & my efforts to be extremely careful!) had obviously altered what was in the frame slightly. I have since learnt that my Canon EOS 600D has a feature called AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing) which does this for you. Under the Menu, select “Expo. comp./AEB” & use the dial to set the AEB amount (eg. one stop, two stops etc.) Then press “set” to set it. If you then set the shooting mode to “continuous shooting” the camera will take three bracketed photos continuously.

Despite this setback, I decided to proceed with the canvas texture stage anyway, as practice for when I came to try this again. So I added a canvas layer & adjusted the opacity as required. I then stumbled upon the “Effects” button & after trying a few of the “Artistic” settings, settled on the one shown below.

Halloween pumpkin

In the end then, despite not replicating the style of image I initially set out to, I was quite happy with the result & I’d learnt a couple of things along the way.