Cathedral of St. Paul

While in the Twin Cities this weekend, my wife and I stopped into the Cathedral of St. Paul.  It is a magnificent building, both inside and out.  While the church does not mind photography, they do not allow tripods without a permit.  I decided against the tripod and went in handheld.

With the range of brightness in the room, I opted to shoot for HDR.  But being I was going handheld, I knew I could only pull 3 shots with faster shutter speeds, hoping to minimize my movement between exposures.  After using the spot meter on my camera, for the shadows and highlights, I found a 1.5 stop difference between the exposures would be sufficient to get the exposures needed in 3 shots.  I knew I would have to use these 3 to process for more exposures to get the results I wanted.  If I did use the tripod, I would have gone for a minimum of 5 exposures, but probably upwards of 9 to cover my bases.

I ended up with 5 processed images, and moved them to HDR Efex for HDR processing.  Below is the result:

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Canal Park

My wife and I spent a few days in Duluth last week.  We did a few hikes and just took the time to get away from work for a while.  One of the mornings I went down to Canal Park to capture sunrise.  Originally I was planning on going over by Lester Park and shoot by the lake, but there was a lot of heavy equipment down there for some road construction they were doing.  That sent me to Canal Park, as I was short on time when I got to the park.  I had just enough time to mount the camera on the tripod, setup the filter before the sun broke the horizon, and lit the clouds up from below.

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My wife has a bunch of hosta plants around the yard. Late last week, while walking around the yard, the lines on one particular plant caught my eye. I ended up putting a 12mm extension tube onto my 17-40 lens so that I could get close enough to focus, and accentuate the lines in the leaves. Something my macro lens wasn’t doing. The side lighting from the sun gave some life to the texture of the leaves.

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We had a family bbq on the 4th, and my wife gave all of our nieces and nephews sparklers to play with while we waited for the fireworks to begin.  This is one of my nieces looking towards me just as it was lit.
I spot metered her face, and upped the exposure a little.  I wanted to make sure I had a brighter exposure to work with since I was shooting at such a high ISO.

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B&W Flower

While downtown yesterday evening, I saw a bush full of these flowers.  I am not sure what they are, but the bush had white on one side and pink ones on the other.  It was far too windy to photograph them then, so I waited it out for a better time.  This morning I woke up to virtually no wind, so I grabbed the camera and ran out for a shot.  This is a white version of the flower, and the way it was nested in the shadow screamed black and white to me.  I mounted my 105mm macro lens, set my composition and then locked it down on the tripod.  Took a few shots at a couple of different apertures, using Live View to check my depth of field.

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