Lesson 2

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    Kristen Jones

    Lesson 2 Assignment: Inspiration

    A photographer whose work I admire and that has inspired me is a man from my hometown of Austin, Texas. Trey Ratcliff’s ability to capture different dimensions of the world by using a full range of color is brilliant to me. He uses a technique called HDR, which I don’t fully understand, but I certainly do appreciate. Although, I love photographers that capture moments in humans lives, I am really drawn to Trey’s photographs. His photos are taken from places all around the world from his home state of Texas, to ancient ruins in South America to the heart of Ta Prohm.

    If I had to choose one piece of photography that has inspired me the most it would be his award winning “Fourth on Lake Austin.” As a child, we spent every fourth of July on our boat on Lake Austin. It was a prime spot to view the beautiful fireworks display. This photo was also the first HDR photo to hang in the Smithsonian. I like this photo for other reasons other than nostalgia. I like how the thunderclouds and the dark blue water contrast against the lights on the boats and also the fireworks. I also appreciate that he captured the famous Austin “moon-towers” in the distance.

    I also like the back story of this photo. It was raining so he was having to constantly wipe his lens clean. He was also hanging off the side of the famous “Pennybacker” bridge with cars zooming by. That takes guts to risk your life to capture that one special photo.

    Overall, I just love how Trey Ratcliff uses the HDR method of photography. The colors that he captures are bold, bright and really make the photos. I also love to learn about new places and cultures, I love geography, so viewing his work is really an inspiration to visit some of these places some day.

    Duncan Rawlinson

    I think this is the image you are referencing:

    photo by stuckincustoms

    Yes this is a high dynamic range photograph. Usually an HDR photograph is a series of photographs that are shot at different exposures and then later combined using computer software into one image.

    The reason HDR photos look so awesome is that human eyes are amazing have amazing dynamic range. Take a look at this:

    Cameras on the other hand have relatively bad dynamic range (although it gets better all the time). The HDR sort of hacks these two ideas in a good way. When you take a series of images at different exposures you can capture more dynamic range than the camera can capture in one image. When you put them all together on the computer later on, it often feels more like it felt in real life.

    To understand this think about slicing a potato. Normally when you take a photo you are capturing a slice of the possible dynamic range in an image. Ie one slice of a potato. When you shoot an HDR you are trying to capture the whole potato by stacking up all the potato slices. Does that make sense?!

    Anyway, nice job here and I love the HDR technique and travel too!

    Here is one I took in Toronto a while back:


    See you on the next assignment. 😀

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