Some Magnum in the Morning

Driving to work this morning, I spotted this tractor at the front of a young cornfield. Like a fish after a well concocted bait, I yanked my car over into the shoulder, grabbed the camera off the seat and was off, leaving the door wide open and radio blaring. It all seemed too easy: new, bright red tractor angle-parked in front of vibrant green cornfield—dark,  low moody clouds moving in—it felt staged.  I took a knee and pressed my back to my bumper for support and fired away.

All of this is what I’ve really came to love about photography. Enjoyable results stem from a mixture of focused labor and happenstance.

As for processing, this was a bracketed with 3 shots: 0, -2, 2. I processed this in Nik Software’s HDR plugin, a plugin I used for the first time and was pleased with the results. I’ve used the nearly seminal Photomatix and it lives up to its hype, but I just wanted to check a few others before I settled on a primary. Having Nik’s Control Point tool is pretty handy. One rub I found with many HDR softwares is the global approach. To get one area where you want it, you sometimes have to trade-off with another. The local adjustment of Nik’s software helps soften that somewhat. After the HDR process, I used Color Efex to work on saturation and contrast. The photo in my head when I saw this scene was red, green and sky so I made some tweaks to emphasize those areas.

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2 thoughts on “Some Magnum in the Morning

  1. The sky is really full on! I really like the reds and greens too. One of my favourite elements resulting from HDR processing is the reflections – the structured reflections in the glass on the side window are really eye-catching. I have to say that I still use both Photomatix and HDR Efex Pro. I find the controls in HDR Efex Pro more flexible, but sometimes I like the results out of Photomatix a bit more. I’ve read a few comparative reviews of the two products and Nik seems slightly preferred.

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