Action in the pits during one of the many rain delays at the 2010 NHRA Arizona Nationals atFirebird International Raceway. Three shot HDR with a new processing step to handle humans in the mix thanks to Captain Kimo.
More photos from the day can be found here (work in progress).
The image is a composition of the three shots for the HDR (-2,0,+2) with a +1 image with the saturation increased for the people. The two images were layered with layer masks being used to bring out a good pose of each person. Once I had a solid image of each person I cloned out the remaining areas that showed their motion. While Captain Kimo’s process was developed for self-portraits that don’t have the human element involved in the HDR images the same technique can be applied here with similar results.
I highly recommend anyone interested in trying Captain Kimo’s technique for handling people in a HDR image start out with a simpler image (fewer people – like 1!). It is a very worthwhile technique but for an image like this is very time consuming. There are many imperfections as this was my first attempt but I like the results far better than past HDR images I’ve done that showed the motion of the people in the image. With some practice (and hopefully some day a desktop pc rather than a 15″ laptop and touchpad) this technique has real promise for handling any type of motion in HDR images. In order to make the people look like they belonged I increased the saturation in the fourth image I used to get the people from in my layer masking. Yes, completing this image took lots of layers and layer masks, but I believe it was worth it. Total processing time was around 3 hours.
This is what we arrived to at Firebird Raceway this morning, things weren’t looking good. Thankfully the skies cleared and one round of Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock eliminations was completed with only one more minor shower. Unfortunately, the skies opened up again before the Top Dragster class made it out for their round. The Pro Gas guys were a blast to watch as always.
Only one blown engine in Funny Car and a roll over in Pro Stock kept things relatively calm on the track. As usual the NHRA Safety Safari was on top of things. As always, it was a great day at the track!
This was a fabulous event with far more people than I anticipated would be in attendance. The selection of cars accompanied by some historical aircraft made for an excellent event. Sentimental Journey, the B-17 bomber housed at the Arizona Wing of the CAF was on display and open for walk through tours. My time at the show was a lot shorter than I wanted but I’m glad I was able to make it for a little while.
Imagine my surprise as I was loading groceries in the car when I suddenly heard the sweet sound of Italian horsepower driving through the parking lot. Not a common sight in this neck of the woods.
For those that don’t already know the story the title of this blog post doesn’t make as much sense as it does to those who do. In the spring of 2009 a photo of Bridal Veil falls from our 2008 family vacation was published in a travel guide. Having just rediscovered photography in the spring of 2008 I was beyond excited to have gotten a photo published already.
During that most wonderful of vacations we were equipped with two DSLR’s. The wife and I each had one. The photo in question had come from my camera, thus I assumed I had taken said photo. It wasn’t until after the photo was published and the wife and I were going through vacation photos that I realized she had taken the photo while hanging out the passenger window of the car as I drove. Go figure, as usual the woman behind the man is truly where the greatness lies.
While I have had my photos used elsewhere on the web, I feel that this one is truly my first accomplishment in achieving a higher level of success as a photographer. For a businessman to express interest in one of my photos and find it worthy of using for commercial purposes marks a milestone for me. Cheers to Cameron and Cindy (who allowed the photo in the first place) at Il Vinaio for not only having an excellent restaurant with fabulous food but for having equally good taste in photography ; )