Exploring HDR: MSU Main Library

Looking to continue the MSU Landmark project, I ran out and grabbed a quick HDR of the MSU Library.  Oh the hours spent inside this building…if only I could have them back.  (just kidding…it was well worth it).  Anyway the weather was great, and it was calm enough (not too many students on campus yet) for me to get a lot of shots without having people walk through my scene.

 MSU Main Library 2008

MSU Main Library 2008

Okay, I must admit that taking images like this gets me all geeked up.  I start looking at other scenes (with my own eyes) and start seeing them as HDR’s in my mind, constantly shifting images through my mind looking for great possible compositions.  I had the idea to shoot this HDR for about 2 weeks now, riding past the Library at near dusk I could see the illuminated interior against the light sky and kept thinking “that would be a great image” and well, I am pretty pleased with the result.  When scouting for HDR images I normally look for scenes that contain a lot of contrast, that is scenes with areas that are dark as well as light, like the above image, the windows are light, yet the exterior is getting dark, perfect for HDR!

To create the image above I took a bracketed range of exposures (7 of them) ranging from -3 EV to +3 EV with the primary image at 0 EV set to f11 and 1/4s shutter speed.  To get an idea of the composite images here they are broken down (I left a few out, but you get the idea).


For this setup I used my Nikon D300 on tripod with a cable release (to help ensure there is no motion blur introduced with slow shutter speeds) and attached to my camera body was my new Nikon 18-200mm VRII lens, have I mentioned yet how much I love that little lens?  Well let me plug it again…although I have only had this lens for a few days it has already earned its permanent place in my camera bag, in fact at the moment it will be the defacto “attached” lens, so if I am ever in a hurry I can pull the camera out and catch the action knowing I will have the right focal length in hand.

If you have any suggestions for other MSU Landmarks that you think I should photograph please let me know, or heck come along with me its always more fun to shoot with other people.