On the Edge of Heaven

Last weekend, I visited Miaoli with Yuling to go hiking on Lion’s Head Mountain, a trail and mountain ridge located in a national park.  While we had beautiful weather and a decent hike, I was a bit disappointed at first to note that the “peak” did not have anything worth looking at… it was too crowded with trees.  Once we made our way further down to a temple complex, however, things changed.  We were met with a 180-degree view and a temple complex that works its way down the side of the mountain.  It was pretty amazing.

This HDR image was taken to capture the sunset and how the rooftops looked with the mountains in the background.  I’m proud of it, but it’s given me some headaches.  First the picture… I’ll describe more below.

First, I’ll mention that the image deserves to be seen full-size.  You can do that by clicking on it and ending up in Flickr.  Or, you could right click and open it up in a new tab/window.

I’ve shot HDRs for this blog before, but had trouble with this one because of the lighting.  On one hand, I wanted my subject, the dragons, to be well-lit and easily visible.  On the other, the sun was setting BEHIND them.  I shot this at f/11 on the 35mm at 1 1/500 shutter speed and bracketed the pictures to a -2, 0 and +2 EV setting.  The ISO was 200, though I did de-noise the final product because of Photomatix giving me more crud to deal with.

After de-noising, I had to deal with the dragons.  Taking away too many shadows meant making a dreamlike/creepy HDR.  The kind that I hate.  Including what was originally there meant taking away from the wonderful detail of this temple.  I went for a mix and spent quite a bit of time brushing the layers on where necessary.  It wasn’t an ideal way to spend my time, but I think it worked.  Let me know what you think in the comments.

If you’re a photographer and want to criticize/critique, please feel free.

I’ll probably post more photos from this trip tomorrow.

2 Comments

Filed under taiwan2010

2 responses to “On the Edge of Heaven

  1. Awesome photo. The color is magnificant! I think you captured it quite well. I look forward to the others.

  2. Pingback: More from Miaoli « joshintaiwan.com

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