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.

Thalarctos Maritimus: An Interesting Subject

The elusive thalarctos maritimus has finally been captured on camera, well ok, its not all that elusive and well, its not even alive, but it was still impressive.

This image is that of the great thalarctos maritimus otherwise known as a polar bear.  This massive polar bear is located in the lobby of the Natural Resources Building on the campus of Michigan State University.  This bear was shot in 1957 at Point Borrow Alaska and donated to the University by Mt. Koepplinger of Oak Park Michigan.

The image above is a composite of two separate images.  Both images were shot at night in the lobby with one image exposed for the outdoor scene and lights, and the other for the bear itself.  Blending the two images allows the bear to look fully lit while having no lights visibly on him.  The image was then converted to gray scale to be used in a project that never made it to the big time, so here it is, in all its glory.

Sparty On!

Is there a better MSU spartan icon better than Sparty himself?  I think not.  So here is a sample ofthe Spartan Landmark series I have been working on.  This is a shot of the newly placed Sparty.  The original Sparty statue is now inside the new football stadium, protected from the weather and elementsThe original Spartan Statue was created in 1945 by Leonard D. Jungwirth and measures 10 feet 6 inches in height weighing in at 3 tons making it one of the worlds largest free standing ceramic statues.

MSU Spartan Statue 2008

Picture Specifications:

  • Camera: Nikon D300
  • Lens: 18-135mm @ 40mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Aperture: f8
  • Shutter: 1/125