Country Living Series

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lucky shots

Yesterday morning I happened to catch the run rising through the fog just as it was burning off.  Took these out the back door of the barn.  Darned lucky shots!  Click on them to enlarge - I think they turned out well.


  1. Hello Patrice,

    Beautiful shot. Definitely a keeper.

    I'm getting back into photography after a long hiatus, and I've recently discovered a new technique that would have been very appropriate for your shots here.

    You can look it up on the Internet. It's called HDR photography -- or High Dynamic Range photography. What you do in a situation like your shots here is take three bracketed photos, one under-exposed about 2 levels, one normal like the ones here, and one over-exposed about 2 levels. You have to use a tripod to keep the shots exactly aligned.

    Then you use special software -- Photomatix is the industry standard, and the best in my evaluation -- that combines the three shots together into one extremely beautiful photo.

    The reason this works is because it takes the highlights from the under-exposed shot, and the dark areas from the over-exposed shot and combines it with the "normal" shot -- taking the best from each exposure.

    So, in your photos, for example, there might have been some interesting clouds, or more interesting details in the misty background but we don't see them because your camera auto exposed for the darker foreground and the highlights are completely "blown out."

    You can Google HDR photography to see stunning representations of how this works. Keep in mind that HDR photography is shunned by the old film purists and even some professional digital photographers. That's because some photographers way over manipulate the settings and create garish "eye candy" that doesn't look anything like what the eye saw when the photographer took the photo.

    Personally, I think it's OK to do that. Photographers are artists, and art is entirely subjective. So who's to say what an artist should or should not do with his or her creation?

    Anyway, you can download a fully working trial version of Photomatix. The only caveat is that it leaves a watermark on saved photos. But, it can give you an idea of whether you like the results enough to invest $39 in the Lite version of the program. Photomatix is at

    That's the first thing I thought of when I saw your photos. You really did find yourself in the right place at the right time and took some stunning photos. I'm thinking that if you can manage it again, and take the bracketed shots, and run them through Photomatix you could have some beautiful coffee table book quality photos there.

    I look forward to seeing your first HDR photo posting.


  2. Absolutely beautiful! I'm using photo #2, the lodgepole pines, as the background for my desktop. Great job Mrs. Lewis!

    Steve Davis
    Anchorage, Alaska

  3. Oh gracious, Dave - that's waaaaaay too much work for me. I'm strictly a point-and-shoot-and-hope-for-the-best photographer. I don't have the time to get much more into it than that.

    But thank you for the post - there are other aspiring photographers who can no doubt do justice to this intriguing technique.

    - Patrice

  4. Hey Steve, if you want a higher-resolution version of the photo, let me know.

    - Patrice

  5. Pic #2 is just gorgeous! Wish I had your talent (and your scenery)!

    Andrea S

  6. Here's a correction from Dave about the photographic software:

    Rather than

    The link should be:

  7. Beautiful scenery, great photos. Nature needs no enhancement, IMHO.

    Anonymous Patriot

  8. I'm with A.P. and I think the first one would make a great wall mural.
    And thanks to Dave for the neat tip. I might try it, even though I'm from the Patrice Lewis school of photography. My policy is take many, get lucky, learn as you go and be in the right place at the right time. And crop crop crop. lol

    Thanks for the nice shots, Patrice.
    A. McSp

  9. Sure, just make me more jealous of your life! God sure did bless Idaho with beauty. I hope to live there myself one day. I'm curious, just how cold would you say it was when you were snapping these?

  10. Hmmmm, Nina - it was about 9 am when I took the shots, so I'm guessing it was about 35F. Something like that.

    I took some more shots this morning as the fog was burning away so I'll post them shortly.

    - Patrice