Lotus Elise - A Picture Every Now & Then # 34

A Picture Every Now & Then 034 - Lotus Elise

What is there to say? Enjoy!

Photographic notes:
Normally, I snap a few photos, move them to my computer, and use Picasa for some simple editing. I've found it completely satisfactory for my needs.

My philosophy has been: If Picasa can't fix it, it isn't worth fixing. To me, that's my way of accepting the fact that I've taken a bad photo and using that knowledge to try and avoid making the same mistake again... however...
I've recently started experimenting with the GIMP photo-editing software because I've heard of something called HDR imagery. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. What it means is that an image will display nearly the full range of light that our eyes can see... here's an rough example: You're on a tree-lined city street with the sun low enough to cause you to squint when looking at the people or buildings down the road. You can look down the street and your eyes can adjust to make out details, colors, and textures because they automatically adjust to the light. You're camera isn't so good at that. If you take a photo of that scene you're likely to get a blindingly bright sun and everything else in the image will be in silhouette. Now, look down the street away from the sun... a photo taken in this direction will be well lit, perhaps too much so, losing definition and detail. HDR imagery allows you to combine multiple exposures of the same shot to bring out much of the detail that the human eye would see.

Typically, three exposures of an identical scene are used. It's possible to use more exposures, or only two. I've read that a single image in RAW format can be used to create an HDR as well, but I'm not so sure ( Please forgive any mistakes I may make, and feel free to correct me. I'm a novice, especially in the software side of photography). Getting three (or more) exposures of the same shot is quite easy these days. Many cameras have an auto-bracketing feature built-in. 'Bracketing' is when you take a picture, then take an under-exposed version of the same picture, and and over-exposed version. These images can be composited to make an HDR image of the scene.

What I've posted above was composited using exposure masking. Some folks think exposure masking is HDR, but I'm not so sure that's right. I took three bracketed shots, layer masked them together in The GIMP, and finalized it with some Picasa tweaks. I can barely do this process, let alone explain it. Search for the terms I've used above and you'll find the same info I found.

Here are three links I've found helpful:


BonK! said...

I realized, just now, why Lotus cars stand out in my mind. Patrick McGoohan, aka Number Six, drives a Lotus Seven in the opening sequence of nearly every episode of "The Prisoner". I believe there was at least one, maybe two, episodes that did not feature the rather lengthy introductory sequence in which our hero quits his post with a British secret service organization, drives home in his Lotus Seven to collect his things, and is subdued with a knockout gas, waking up in 'The Village' where spies are kept after they retire, because they know too much.

Honorable Mention goes to the white submersible Lotus Esprit piloted by James Bond in "The Spy Who Loved Me". According to Wikipedia, Lotus cars appeared in two other Bond films as well: the original "Casino Royale" and "For Your Eyes Only". Personally, I prefer Number Six's taste compared to Q's selections.

Finally, the type of racers I've always preferred were those depicted in the "Speed Racer" cartoon. Check out the Lotus Eleven for a prime example, and the Lotus 23. Believe it or not, Speed Racer occasionally drove a Formula 1 car. It, too, was a white and red car numbered 5 and, if memory serves me well, was more similar to a Lotus Formula racer than others of the period.

BonK! said...

You know, I'm not sure I can adequately express in words how much I like this photo. It's certainly my favorite photo of the year (so far) and it's absolutely in my all time personal favorite Top 10. I love the colors, I love the contrast, I love the composition, I love the car! I only hope that there are equal or better photos in my future.