So a few weeks ago, a guy approached me who I know from other things, and asked about printing some of my photos for his and his partner’s new business location.

So after some back and forth, we settled on some images that he liked, and one image of Wescott and Wescott Fountain that he liked, but was in black and white. The client only wanted color images, and unfortunately, the image he’d selected was shot on my iPhone. And while I normally make an effort to save the original RAW files when I shoot with one of my DSLRs, I usually ditch the unedited JPGs that my phone has, after I tweak them to my satisfaction.

So Sunday, I decided with the beautiful afternoon weather, I would go and make an effort to get two or three images I could put in front of him instead of the iPhone Wescott image.

I started at Wescott, and got a picture that I wasn’t displeased with, but I just couldn’t edit to my satisfaction. Then I headed over—across campus—to the newly-renovated Doak Campbell Stadium for a possible sunset shot, and maybe a shot of the Unconquered Statue.

I started out knowing that I wanted a pretty wide, epic shot, so I only brought my 24mm lens. I also knew I wanted to shoot an HDR bracketed shot. For those that are unaware, HDR is where you stack multiple images of different exposures on top of each other so you get the most detail in the highlights, and the darker shadow areas. Even iPhones and other phone cameras have this feature! Try it out sometime!

So after patiently (WOW that’s hard for me…) sitting and waiting for just the right amount of clouds to float into the sky at the top of my picture, I used my camera’s auto-bracketing feature and burst-ed 5 frames right in a row and let the camera take care of exposure.

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Here you can see the sequence, where the photos get increasingly brighter

Then I got home, and started playing with the image on my computer. That’s where things really come to life. You first have to stack the photos, (this is easy, a program does it for you), then you have to basically go in and paint over all the parts where you want to pull detail out of.

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A before and after of my editing process

And then FINALLY here is the completely edited image—tweaked after some thoughtful advice from some of my photographer counterparts—as I sent to my client, which he very much approved of.

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A Sunday sunset at Doak

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