Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Falcon 50 Cockpit - HDR

One of the frustrations faced by new photographers is that their cameras often don't record the image that they appear to be seeing. With practice and understanding how a camera sees the world, most people can start to achieve the image they are truly after but we should remember that digital cameras never see the full range of tones in a high contrast scene that we see with our own eyes.

A technique which is proving ever more popular is HDR photography. The idea is simple, shoot a range of images at different exposures that cover the whole brightness range of the image, then combine them to produce an image which shows detail from the darkest points to the brightest points in the image.

I'm still very new to HDR and haven't yet got to grips with tone mapping, but every so often I'll have a go to try to learn a little more.

Recently there was the opportunity to photograph the cockpit area of a Falcon 50 business jet, a good opportunity to try some HDR.

Shown below are just three photos from a series of seven that I took. As you can see at one end of the scale the cockpit detail is virtually black whilst the world outside the cockpit is acceptable, at the other end of the scale the cockpit is slightly overexposed whilst the world outside the cockpit is completely blown out with overexposure. By taking seven images at various exposures I had covered the full brightness range of the image.

Once the seven images were combined using HDR software the following image was produced. Whilst HDR isn't to everyones taste, and this is only a very quick rough and ready example, it does demonstrate what can be achieved.

A second HDR example

Monday, 18 April 2011

Midland Offroad Club - Buildwas Comp Safari

Following the frustrations of not being able to get off his drive during the earlier snowfall of this year, a friend has recently purchased an eBay special, a cheap little 4x4, just to cover such eventualities.

As the 4x4 has subsequently turned out to be an incredible snow repellent (not a hint of the white stuff since its purchase) he decided to take it along to a 4x4 open day hosted by Midland Offroad Club at Buildwas, just to experience a bit of specialist driving.

Many of you who know me, will understand that I rarely pass up the opportunity to attend a motorsport event, even if I'm not officially working on it. Therefore when my friend mentioned that a Comp Safari had been organised as part of the weekend, I just had to pop along with the camera.

The organising team were a friendly bunch, and I was allowed to 'sign on' despite not arranging anything in advance. Whilst the number of entrants was quite low, they did all appear to be enjoying themselves.

The following are just a few photos from the days activities.

Further details of the Midland Offroad Club activities can be found at Midland Offroad Club - Home

Horiba D'Isis 2011

Organised by Quinton Motor Club, the Horiba D'Isis Stages Rally has been using the specialist roads of MIRA for 17 years.

By its very nature the Motor Industries Research Association proving ground is a very sensitive location, where cameras are generally banned so I consider it a privelage to be one of the invited and trusted photographers allowed to work on this event.

Capturing rally cars in action on tarmac is always a challenge as you don't have the muck and dirt flying around like you would in a forest, but as you can see in the following images, MIRA still provides plenty of photographic opportunities.

I would just like to say a big thank you to the organising team from Quinton Motor Club and the staff at MIRA for once again inviting me along.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Air To Air With Spirit Of Safety I

Making a welcome return to Halfpenny Green Airfield during April 2011 were two Lightship A60s in the shape of the Goodyear liveried G-HLEL and G-TLEL.

Once home to part of the Lightship Co, A60+ Blimps were a regular site at Halfpenny Green in many different advertising schemes but G-HLEL is the first to return for a number of years.

Unfortunately during its stay at Halfpenny Green the weather precluded most of the flights for G-HLEL Spirit Of Safety II but for sister ship Spirit Of Safety I the weather was a lot kinder and allowed some extensive flying on Monday 11th April.

During a very short window of time I was lucky to get airbourne to do a few air to air shots on what turned out to be G-TLELs last vip flight from Halfpenny Green before moving on.

A very big thank you to Steve for getting me airbourne and to the pilot of G-TLEL that allowed us to fly alongside and make the following images possible.