The eXperiment

The final AEB work product

Before Final Edits

This past weekend I explored with my friend J at a very cool power plant. I've wanted to shoot inside this plant for a long time since seeing the pictures from J's portfolio. Last weekend I got to do that. This time I was armed with a new photography technique from landscape photographers that I wanted to try out. I realized landscape photographers photograph similar to what I do whilst exploring. Landscape photographers final images always have a front to back sharpness and detail that I admire. It is a similar creative process I try to emulate inside abandoned buildings all the time. Armed with only my trusty Canon T3i I set about inside finding the right composition I wanted to experiment with once I got back to my photo lab. And boy, did I shoot the hell out of this place (238 photos, 5.45GB). I didn't even document every room because of time constraints.

Lining up the shot, I clicked about nine shots at the same ISO of 100, shutter speed of 1/8, 4.0 aperture and three different focus points. As you can see below, the 6 blended shots turned out really well when zoomed in 100% but 9 shots blended together became a bit soft in the back and certain sections became a bit soft and fuzzy. Something I do not want. The 6 blended shot is on the right and the 9 blended shot is on the left. If you look closely at the "zon" word in the background you see less detail and sharpness around the letters in the 9 blended shot. As well as a bit of softness around the piping seen in example 2 comparison zoomed in 1:1.

To make sure everything seems fair and straight in this comparison test. I blended and merged the images using a third party Lightroom plugin that I have found to be quite good at blending images within Lightroom. The test image was edited into a final product. I find the HDR Merge feature in Lightroom to be lacking in the final result even with DeGhost amount turned off and even set at low. It introduced quite a huge amount of noise and even greater softness after blending 9 shots that I didn't even waste my time blending just 6.

Example 4 Comparison

Side by side they both look excellent at face value but at 100% zoomed in, a different story emerges.

Example 1 Comparison

Example 2 Comparison

Example 3 Comparison

Lightroom HDR Merge Sample

With the experimental results baring fruits at 6 photographs blending well together rather than 9 photographs. I am going to try again with something else as a subject matter. I am curious to see where 12 photographs leave me with....stay tuned.

Suffice to say I push my current equipment to its limits until I can acquire my Sony A7rIII.


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