There I was at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, shooting away and frantically trying to guess when the lightening would strike. It was bouncing around everywhere. Soon, I worried that it might strike one of us. So, I ushered us into the lodge, giving up.
I left the rim believing that I hadn’t captured any lightning at all — because I didn’t see it in the view screen. It wasn’t until I arrived home, was wearing my reading glasses, and had the benefit of my big monitor that I realized that fate had been kind. My camera had captured that sought for strike! Of course, this shot became a favorite and I went to work on creating an HDR (High Dynamic Range) photograph to show off the range of light and shadows for which lightning storms are known.
If you’d like to learn more about HDR and the tools and techniques for creating your own HDR photographs, check out Matt Kloskowski’s series introducing the approach. But, be warned. Once you start down the HDR path, you may never want to leave!
- Introduction to HDR: What it is, how it can help you capture what you see, the two main styles of HDR photography (grunge and natural), about Photomatix Pro (a must for HDR), and how to capture images for HDR.
- Introduction to HDR — Part 2: All about Photomatix Pro (what is is, where to get it, and how to use it).
- Introduction to HDR — Part 3: How to process the HDR photograph within Camera RAW.
- Introduction to HDR — Part 4: How to finish the photograph via photo-processing within Photoshop Elements.
One last note, if you love this form of photography please check out Trey Ratcliff’s blog and photostream on Flickr. Trey has the distinction of having one of his HDR photographs be the first HDR to hang in the Smithsonian. His work is beautiful.