An HDR Image for the Client

I’m in the middle of a project for Electro-Optic US, a die-cutting manufacturing company based in Alpharetta, GA.  One piece of this project is to create a exterior image of the US headquarters of the company.  Sounds easy right?  Not necessarily so.  Creating an exterior image of a building takes more work than you may think.

The entrance to Electro-Optic US is on the north elevation and because the sun is so far south at this time of year, there would be very dark shadows on that side of the building.  No matter what time of day the shot would be taken, if the sun was above the horizon, the dynamic range of the image (that’s the difference between the brightest part of the image compared to the darkest part of the image) would be too large to correct in post-processing.  And since Markus, the president of Electro-Optic US, wanted the focus to be on the building and not any cars that may be in the parking lot, I created the images below when they were closed and during that 20-30 minutes between dawn and sunrise when daylight first appears early on a Saturday morning.

Creating an Image

I captured the five small images on the right side of the image above just after dawn using five different exposures to capture the brights of the lights, the darks of the shadows and everything in between. You can see them better by clicking on the image to enlarge it in your browser.  I then merged them together in software to create the High Dynamic Range (HDR) image in the lower right of frame.

This created a very workable image but there were things that needed to be fixed before I would call it a finished image, ready for delivery to the client.  For instance the dull sky needed to be replaced and distractions like the signpost removed, the brown grass made to look greener, replacing missing pine straw around the bushes and straightening the crooked window shades all needed to be fixed.  There was even some foliage added to the three bushes at the front so they would look healthier.  That’s an image I’m proud to present to a client.

If you are or if you know a business owner who wants their building to be seen in the best light, even if the images were taken before the sun came up, tell then you know someone who can create that image, point them to this post and introduce us in an email or over coffee.  Thanks for visiting the blog, and remember, I don’t just take pictures, I create images.

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