<<< o >>>lost and found #2 48 comments + add yours

This is the second of three 'lost and found' shots and is probably my favourite of the three. This one though differs from the other two in that a) it was taken last summer (the other two were shot at the weekend), and b) this one is an HDR (High Dynamic Range) image. The original was somewhat underexposed, but by creating two additional TIFFs from the RAW file (one overexposed by 1.2 stops and the other by 2.4) I was able to combine the three images in Photomatix to produce a better 'exposed' final image.

Anyway, as always, let me know what you think.

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
4.28pm on 31/7/05
Canon 20D
EF 70-200 f/4L USM
200mm (320mm equiv.)
aperture priority
C1 Pro
2x1 + HDR + reflections [water] + beachcombing + fylde coast
comment by Jem at 06:33 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

Ooh I love this shot Dave. The muted colours, the sharpness and the reflection. Just gorgeous :)

3 thumbs up ;)

comment by thukai at 06:40 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

Man... I don't know how to explain this one. I refreshed your site and went from your previous shot to this one. The difference i huge. I LOVE this one.

comment by Justin Blanton at 06:50 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

Stunning. Absolutely stunning.

comment by Aspen at 07:08 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

A friend of mine recently directed me to your website....and since then, I have visited it daily. I love that you explain your settings, editings and thoughts on each shot. As always, I am very impressed. Can't wait til tomorrow.

comment by alan at 07:08 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

Very nice. The use of the HDR is really well done. I did no strike me as an HDR until I read the description. The DoF, reflection and overall tone all combine to create a terrific image. Bravo!

comment by Otto K at 07:09 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

Incredible image. The tones and lighting are just right.

comment by Bill Hooker at 07:10 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

Nice shot, but what I *really* like is the idea of making different tiffs from one raw file for use in HDR -- thereby eliminating the overlap issues that plague HDR images made from separate shots. I quite like the otherworldly feel of the latter, but this method seems a better way to make "straight" shots with expanded DR. (I think you've mentioned it before, but for some reason I never twigged until now what you were up to.)

comment by James at 07:12 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006


I've been following your site for quite some time now. You have a very unique "feel' to your images. I'd like to find out more about your post-processing (filters, blur, etc.).

Email me when you get a chance?


comment by Alastair Bryce at 07:21 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

You did very well with this photo - having dabbled a little with HDRs before I know how much of a pain they can be to get right, well done!

comment by Robert at 07:55 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

I think your technique shows where HDR software may be of real value to photographers in getting an image that better represents the exposure range the eye can see.

It's sad shot, and I'm instantly reminded of war pictures where the boot symbolizes one of the fallen, forgotten soldiers from a beachead battle. Very strong.

comment by Gio at 08:46 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

Wow! very interesting subyect! I like it very much!

comment by Jorge Lesmes at 08:47 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

Much better than yesterday┬┤s.

comment by Mikelangelo at 08:56 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

I really like this shot!! well done. The neat thing here... previously I've been able to determine if your shots were HDR right away. I didn't even notice it this time. Very nicely done.

comment by Roy at 09:25 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

That's an interesting use of HDR from a single RAW file - not seen that done before. I wonder if any of your readers have tried it with non-Canon (e.g. Nikon) RAW to see how effective it is with formats from other sensors?

comment by CurlyBoy at 09:35 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

Nice image. Photomatix is a very useful tool, as well. It's saved many a vacation photo. :) Do you use the Photoshop plug-in, the standalone basic, or the pro version?

Although I'm not even close to being in your league, to my uneducated eye the shot appears to be centered a tad low. Perhaps I'd have cropped the top a tad just to make the boot and it's reflection in the center of the image, rather than being slightly closer to the bottom. *shrug*.

Otherwise, it's a great image, and I'm glad you could save the underexposed shot. Do you have the original photo posted somewhere, just to show what it started with versus where you ended up?

comment by sistereden at 09:37 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

The melancholic tones, the blurred reflection, the position of this abandoned shoe give it a story, it belongs to everyone to feel which one.

comment by samcam at 09:55 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

Just awesome!

comment by Joseph Yarrow at 10:04 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

a more subtle HDR, good usage!
I like it, good job!

comment by Lex at 10:54 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

I think you could call this the equivalent of making a silk purse out of a pig's ear.

comment by Clarence at 11:08 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

Old lost shoes are cool, the last two posts look like something from photo.monkey.net

comment by Sharla at 11:28 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

Much prefer your treatment of this footwear to yesterday's. The muted, cool colors cast a lonely aura, very much emphasizing the "lost" part of the title.

Two incidentatls impress me: First, your very effective use of HDR to rescue this shot. Second, that the boot quality is good enough to have kept it's shape even in this environment.

comment by EssPea Photography at 11:43 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

Everytime that I try to produce and HDR image from a single file using photomatix, it either gets really noisy or it just looks like junk.

Obviously you aren't having this problem, because this is a killer image!

comment by Ashish Sidapara at 11:52 PM (GMT) on 21 March, 2006

Nice shot David, the HDR has done wonders!

comment by Claudi at 12:11 AM (GMT) on 22 March, 2006

It works really really well. It has been all said. I think I am going to give it a try I finnally understood how you do the HDR. Cool technique!!!

comment by PARCPHOTOGRAPHY at 12:54 AM (GMT) on 22 March, 2006

I could barelyimagine myself on how iwould actually look like if i was the owner of that lost boot ;). I personally liked the way the reflection from the water added a feel from this picture :)

comment by kim at 01:09 AM (GMT) on 22 March, 2006

When I first saw this I immediately thought of war. Very sad, quiet picture but beautiful.

comment by DavidG at 01:50 AM (GMT) on 22 March, 2006

David, I like this picture very much. A comment and a question ...

1) I don't agree with CurlyBoy - I also have an uneducated eye, but I very much like the crop as it is, and trying to "centre" it would (for me) reduce the strength of the image.

2) There's less effect of ripples right next to the boot, compared to the edge of the shot. I was going to say that this is a pity, but on reflection (!) I guess the feeling conveyed by the picture might be quite different if this were not the case. Is it deliberate, or is it an unavoidable effect of the HDR algorithms?

comment by john at 02:06 AM (GMT) on 22 March, 2006

Dave you need to be honest with us...either the places you take photos people are just throwing shoes out into the streets.....or you are taking your shoes off and putting it somewhere to take a photo of it...this is just too weird... I live in NY and I cant recall running into a shoe on the beach or on the street in the past ten years....and here you are taking photos of shoes, boots, sneakers... not that i dont like them but...

comment by Bryn at 04:36 AM (GMT) on 22 March, 2006

Love this shot. Who's shoe is it, and why is it there? It could be from a war scene or just randomly lost. There is a real sense of lonelyness in a single shoe. From a technical point of view I'm very interested in the concept of creating 3 images from the RAW and then combining via HDR. I thought the limit of dynamic range on digital sensors was sensor related. Ie that creating other exposures from the original RAW would have the same dynamic range. Obviously it has worked for you in this instance, but I'd be interested to know if it works over all. I'm struggling to get my HDR shot of a fountain to work due a few moving parts ghosting, and mutliple exposures from a single RAW would fix it.

comment by ROB at 05:30 AM (GMT) on 22 March, 2006

The fact its an HDR actually surprised me, generally they stand out as such. Guess its all in the operator.

On the actual composition the reflect is what really suckers me in. That totally rocks.

comment by Andy Roddick at 06:21 AM (GMT) on 22 March, 2006

I like this better than yesterday. Maybe its just the boot. My imagination is definitely sparked by it.

comment by Carter R at 06:57 AM (GMT) on 22 March, 2006

I am beginning to think that British beaches are quite a minefield for junk. I wonder if they are all littered with this kind of junk. Nice shot though, love the reflection

comment by bruno at 11:44 AM (GMT) on 22 March, 2006

this is realy cool shot. :)

comment by john at 12:36 PM (GMT) on 22 March, 2006

Your shot caused me wonder why it is that there are never two boots or shoes on the road or in a ditch. Always one. Must be the result of some universal law of physics.

comment by Lito at 01:09 PM (GMT) on 22 March, 2006

Better then yesterday's shot.

comment by GeckoZ at 02:12 PM (GMT) on 22 March, 2006

Wow! nice nice! I like this shot too!

comment by Rob at 02:28 PM (GMT) on 22 March, 2006

A powerful image, made better by the use of HDR

comment by stephanie at 05:34 PM (GMT) on 22 March, 2006

i like it a lot as a vertical image too. check it out.

comment by patrick at 06:14 PM (GMT) on 22 March, 2006

you made art only with shoes, like Van Gogh.
here a great result

comment by lee at 06:16 PM (GMT) on 22 March, 2006


comment by djn1 at 08:36 PM (GMT) on 22 March, 2006

Thanks everyone.

comment by prasoon at 10:25 PM (GMT) on 22 March, 2006

pure ecstacy is what i'd call, seeing this - this was truly awesome !!
i just loved the detail in her ..

comment by Navin Harish at 11:54 AM (GMT) on 23 March, 2006

For no explained or understood reason, the word that comes to mind when see this shot is "Matrix"

comment by Tatiana at 06:24 PM (GMT) on 24 March, 2006

i like it! very original!

comment by amanda at 09:27 PM (GMT) on 24 March, 2006

ooh i love it
this is a fabulous shot david.
i feel very sad for the boot.

comment by flygirl at 07:24 PM (GMT) on 25 March, 2006

Love this shot, makes you wonder whatever happended to the owner of the boot. Would be perfect for the cover of any of these war movies about WW2, when the Americans entered the Normandy or something like that...Technically perfect, as always of course...

comment by AngelC at 11:45 AM (GMT) on 28 March, 2006

Great image, much expresive image.

comment by Beth at 04:55 AM (GMT) on 6 April, 2006

What is High Dynamic Range? I have no idea what that means.