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Crooked Postcard

I learned a nifty photography trick a few months back. Many modern digital cameras (I use a Canon S3 which has this feature) allow you to take three pictures in rapid succession at differing exposure lengths. Using a program like Photomatix to combine the three images into one photo offers the advantage of uniform coloration throughout the picture (instead of having the sky whited out by focusing on a ground object or the ground be too dark by focusing on the sky).

The problem is that you have to use a tripod to capture the three images or the combined image will be blurry. My tripod is a whopping 4″ or so and therefore is of very limited use in most situations. For the above photograph there was a bench near the fountain so I used the bench to balance my tiny tripod on. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) it resulted in a very cooked image. I didn’t have time to retake the pictures with the tripod straightened out as the people I was with were freezing.

Instead I rotated the images after combining them to yield the above result which I rather like for a change of pace. You can tell I blended multiple pictures by the airplane in the upper left.

The fountain, by the way, is known as the International Fountain and is located in the Seattle Center along with Experience Music Project and many other attractions. We were going to have lunch in the Space Needle, but unfortunately, they are closed for renovations until mid-February.

P.S. I looked at this picture under Explorer and it looks horrible. For best results try viewing this blog in Chrome (or probably anything else other than Explorer which is a slow, lousy browser anyway).

2 Responses to “Crooked Postcard”

  1. 1
    White Oleander:

    What a beautiful shot. I love the resolution of the picture. Seattle has always been one of my favorite city. I miss seafood soup a lot.

  2. 2
    Haf:

    It’s a very nice picture.

    I have also tried this technique of combining pictures and then averaging them for a while, it’s called HDR (high dynamic range) Tonemapping.

    Since you have a Canon camera, try googling for the CHDK firmware. I use it to automate HDR shots. With just one press of a button, I usually shoot five to seven pictures at different exposure levels at once with the help of this special firmware. It’s great!

    I also recommend getting a bottlecap tripod, which is basically an adapter to mount your camera on an ordinary bottle of water/preferred refreshing drink. 😉

    I don’t know why the picture looks worse in Internet Explorer, as it is a normal JPEG picture, IE shouldn’t have any problem… but it does. Strange. Personally, I recommend Firefox for surfing the net.