This was my first attempt at an HDR photograph. HDR stands for “High Dynamic Range”, meaning an image that has more dynamic range or detail than an normal photograph. I had been reading about this technique and my opportunity to give it a try came one day on a trip home from Lincoln. All of the way home the sky was just amazing but traveling down the Interstate does not offer many chances at making a photo. I pulled off near the Grand Island exit and stopped at the first Platte River bridge. HDR photos take several different exposures and blend them together to show more detail. Some people use this technique and make images that look more like a drawing or painting. My goal was to make an image that looks like a detailed photograph. I made several images with sun at my back, facing the east, thinking that would make the best image. Then I turned around and made one set of exposures facing into the sun. This is the image that resulted. I use this technique often in my photography today.
This photograph is shot from Monte’s front yard near Elm Creek, Nebraska. I think it is a very simple image that is completely real. Monte is a retired farmer who likes his old tractors and he works small parcels of land for something to do. I would like to do more photographs of tractors in their natural environment. If you have an interesting tractor or know someone with an interesting tractor let me know. I would love to come and photograph it.
In 1989 I attended a workshop in Yosemite National Park put on by the Ansel Adams Gallery. It was a wonderful experience meeting and learning from so many excellent photographers. One of the instructors was a former assistant to Ansel, John Sexton. John was well known for making images in low light situations. By extending his exposure time he made images that were very luminous. On the way home I tried this for myself for the first time, this photo was made in a public campground near Mono Lake and Lee Vining. Up til now most of my photos had exposure times that were a fraction of a second, this photo of aspens had an exposure time of a couple minutes. It is the first of many images I have made with longer exposure times.