<<< o >>>the sweet shop 34 comments + add yours

Given that my previous image received a mixed, though mostly positive response I'd be interested to hear what you make of this one. Like the previous one, it's an HDR, constructed from a seven shot bracketed sequence using Photomatix Pro, but while the last one had almost CGI feel to it, this one is a lot less intense.

That said, if you didn't like the last one because it's an HDR, you're unlikely to like this one any better ;-)

Nonetheless, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts as this is a technique that a) I still find fascinating, and b) will probably do quite a lot more of in the future.

3x2 + Blackpool Tower + HDR + piers [North pier] + fylde coast [scenic]
comment by YETi at 09:29 PM (GMT) on 13 June, 2008

This again is a belter but I don't understand how you manage to keep elements from ghosting. Surely the woman moved during your seven shot bracketed sequence? Could you please explain? Ta.

comment by Anne at 09:32 PM (GMT) on 13 June, 2008

I think its stunning!!! Not scary like yesterdays, though I loved that one as well. This one makes me want to climb into it. Might be the "sweet shop". Seriously though, it has a magical quality to it. Thank you

comment by DavidC at 09:33 PM (GMT) on 13 June, 2008

Your HDR work is what got me interested in your work in he first place and is why I keep coming back for more! But for this image I can't decide if I like it or not, this feels very 3D rendered compared to your other HDR work. I certainly appreciate the skill that goes into the post production, and so for that, I give it a thumbs up! As far as this being a 7 shot sequence was the lady on the chair posing or was she only in one of the 7 shots used? And are you still intending to do a tutorial on HDRs from a single raw image?

comment by owen-b at 09:34 PM (GMT) on 13 June, 2008

Aw man - Dave I loved your photography, but this new addiction is something I genuinely feel is a bit below you. It feels a little like you're riding a wave that I had hoped was starting to subside amongst the photoblog community.

You've had some really good examples of restrained, practical use of HDR, and even in terms of this outlandish style I've seen much less well executed, halo-ridden examples done by HDR fans with much less skill than yourself, but I'm one of those for whom this style just doesn't click I'm afraid. I'm actually quite disappointed to read you're planning to do a lot more like this. :(

Less is more, I guess is what I'm saying, and this is too much for me.

Anyway, that aside the barrel distortion on this scene, mainly the leaning lamp-post, also doesn't work for me... Sorry to have been so resoundingly negative but hopefully it's been constructive too! :)

comment by csj@id7.co.uk at 09:51 PM (GMT) on 13 June, 2008

I still find the 'image' successful, it still makes you wonder, look, stare, analyse, and question. That said, I guess everyone is entitled to an opinion, and its exactly imagery like this that makes me return evening after evening, and I applaud that.... I love the surreal slightly over done process that you have applied in the last couple of posts. What I question is peoples expectations of your HDR work. You should definitely post as many of these as you like, I am sure you have more positive reaction to your images, than negative. I'd say most negativity comes from those that have tried and failed to exercise both subtlety and technique in their own work. cheers csj

comment by M a d . P h o t o . W o r l d at 09:55 PM (GMT) on 13 June, 2008

The dome blends much better in this one ;)

comment by Mark at 09:58 PM (GMT) on 13 June, 2008

Love it! Very creative and evocative look.

comment by Cedric at 10:05 PM (GMT) on 13 June, 2008

These two are my favorites from you since a while...

comment by djn1 at 10:34 PM (GMT) on 13 June, 2008

YETi: the 1Ds Mark II will shoot an auto-bracketed sequence of seven shots, so it's quite quick. And I think she moved her head slightly between some of the exposures, but not by much.

DavidC: she wasn't posing, and yes, I do intend to do a tutorial on using a single RAW file to create an HDR.

owen-b: don't worry, I won't be producing a whole sequence in this style. As for the distortion: if this had been a straight shot, I would probably have corrected it, but as I intended this one to be quite surreal I decided to leave it as it is.

csj: thanks :-)

M a d . P h o t o . W o r l d : yes, I made sure it looked better in this one ;-)

comment by David Chabashvili at 01:48 AM (GMT) on 14 June, 2008

I like it, a lot! All of Dave's HDR shots are different and have that 'unreal' look to it, but believable unreal look that makes them appealing to me. Keep it up :)

comment by kate at 05:06 AM (GMT) on 14 June, 2008

a treat. storybook quality. not so sure re bashing of HDR, though I get that some shy away from what they percieve as a trend they might think will not last. will it or won't it?

the senior citizen (?) "motorist" lends an unusual twist, as do the nicely tinted windows in the cupola- . really like this one too. :)

comment by Tim at 10:43 AM (GMT) on 14 June, 2008

I think I prefer the previous one, for its eerie, unworldly quality. It could be an illustration from a Brothers Grimm story. This one isn't as spooky - the lady in the motorised scooter thingy kind of puts the kibosh on that.
Also I'm not sure if the string of lights does the composition any favours. But I do really like the HDR treatment though. And that blue glass.

comment by Mark at 11:03 AM (GMT) on 14 June, 2008

Works a lot better for me this as it's a broader canvas (strokes chin).. The increased number of elements to it means it's not as harsh, as "in-your-face" as the last one. For that reason it works nicely for me :)

comment by krizalid at 11:39 AM (GMT) on 14 June, 2008

As the previous photo, I don't like this one mainly due to its processing who has, IMO, a lack of subtlety. To me, it'a a way over the top, and just looks like dozens others HDR you can see on Flickr. I'm not against HDR, but I like them with more subtility.
The distortion doesn't work either for me. ;)

comment by Leicca at 01:38 PM (GMT) on 14 June, 2008

¡Genial! I love the sky...

comment by Vahid at 04:48 PM (GMT) on 14 June, 2008

Hi David,

It's nice but the CGI effect is still a bit disturbing. Maybe 7 shots is a bit too much, it takes a the photograph effect away in makes it more paiting like.

comment by Chris Wray at 07:27 PM (GMT) on 14 June, 2008

Hi Dave. Keep the HDR's coming. its the HDR examples that got me into signing up for the annual membership. I've got the bug also. :-)
I think this, like the other, may have been better with the perspective straightened up and the red life vest on the last one kept drawing my eye away from the subject, but hey, minor issues.
Question: Are you masking the "coloured" areas to keep the remainder of the image with less saturation or is this just how the images turn out ?

comment by Alice at 12:40 AM (GMT) on 15 June, 2008

Wow...beautifully done! One of my new favorites!

comment by Ash at 01:25 AM (GMT) on 15 June, 2008

Unfortunately David I agree with owen-b. I've been guilty of HDR overkill myself, and do think it can be a fun gimmick, but I just can't bring myself to see the validity of it. I see people on photography forums asking what the best camera for HDR is, and frankly, it makes me sad. I think it's a Picasso type thing - he learned to draw properly before experimenting with his cubist style. I think people need to learn the basics of photography before mucking around with HDR.

That doesn't apply to you of course, I don't think any of us can argue that you aren't a fantastic photographer. The HDR shots of yours that I love are the subtle ones where you've made it into your own style. This one feels like a generic photomatix output.

Like owen-b said, I am sorry to be so negative, but I love your work so much and I just think you're selling yourself short when you choose to use HDR in this way.

comment by djn1 at 07:55 PM (GMT) on 15 June, 2008

Thanks all.

Ash (and others): don't worry, this type of HDR isn't going to appear all that often, but there are fun to do :-)

comment by YETi at 07:57 PM (GMT) on 15 June, 2008

They are fun and imho not a fad but very much here to stay! So live with it.

comment by alexandru savu at 11:03 PM (GMT) on 15 June, 2008

Great shot.

comment by lasiate at 12:08 AM (GMT) on 16 June, 2008

le résultat est étonnant et l'image interpelle. Je n'aime pas trop cette mode du HDR mais mais là il crée une image intemporelle et très réussie

comment by owen-b at 12:35 AM (GMT) on 16 June, 2008

Hello again!

csj@id7.co.uk wrote: "I'd say most negativity comes from those that have tried and failed to exercise both subtlety and technique in their own work. cheers csj"

You know, what I like about the comments on this site is the fact that over the years a combination of the quality on display plus David's open attitude to both negative and positive constructive criticism has led to an interesting outpouring of differing views. Sometimes (often!) people disagree, which is just fine. After all, if everyone liked the same thing, the world would be a dreadfully boring place.

Now, I happen to dislike HDR when I see it all the time. Don't get me wrong, I like the novelty - I've done a couple of my own in the past, some of them very subtle to allow for a little bit more detail to creep out, others absolutely outrageous, such as the image prior to this particular one. However, I lost interest in it and happen to prefer the images David takes and makes which don't use the technique. That's just my preference. I'm open to other people appreciating them for whatever reason - they're very interesting compared to the average straight photograph certainly! I just hope to see plenty of non-HDR images in the future from David as I vastly prefer those, and if I'm honest I got a bit bored of lots of HDR in recent months. Your opinion may vary.

I'm not quite sure how to take csj's comment - it comes directly after mine, the only negative comment at that point. I take objection to the insinuation that because I don't happen to like this image (and I gave perfectly valid reasons for this taste) then it must be because I lack skill as a photographer or HDR software user. Come and criticise my work after viewing it, please, instead of slapping me around the face with an insult I don't deserve just because my opinion differs to yours.

That's just lazy and frankly pretty ignorant.

Aaanyway, and relax! ;)

comment by kristarella at 02:26 AM (GMT) on 16 June, 2008

I didn't love the last one as much as some of your other HDRs (especially the one of your daughter). I think it's because it went for that overdramatic look, but still had muted colours. I think I prefer dramatic HDRs with really blue sky or some kind of colour feature. So perhaps if the green painted elements of this were brighter I would like it more. I think the subject of the photo is kind of interesting (sweet shop, city background, woman in chair) I want to look around and discover what's there, but my eyes keep being drawn to the sky...

Anywho, despite those personal preferences your HDRs are great. I tried to do a couple, but they were horrible!

comment by peffis at 02:49 PM (GMT) on 16 June, 2008

I think I keep out on commenting on the HDR or no HDR question, but I do feel that the composition here perhaps could've been helped by taking two steps forward as I find the wire of light bulbs and the fence a bit disturbing in the image.

comment by djn1 at 03:55 PM (GMT) on 16 June, 2008

peffis: I did think about composing the shot it that way but decided I liked the complexity of this version better. I take your point though.

comment by contrarily yours at 06:18 AM (GMT) on 18 June, 2008

HDR- ugh.
What is this? The Royal Motorized Grandmother of HDR?

comment by Mike at 01:23 AM (GMT) on 21 June, 2008

This is a great image!! It reminds me of a place where a crazy clown with sharp teeth would suddely jump out from. The treatment here is wonderfully done.

comment by Simon C at 01:50 AM (GMT) on 22 June, 2008

Dave - What do you like about this photo?

comment by Claus at 08:46 PM (GMT) on 23 June, 2008

Amazing how you have capture all the details in this scene! Great shot!

comment by jenn desjardins at 12:17 PM (GMT) on 4 July, 2008

ok, wow!!!!!

comment by Allan Aguirre at 09:47 PM (GMT) on 18 September, 2008

I have been away for quite sometime so when this pic popped up I heard myself saying "OMG..." in the best sense of the term!

comment by Inkylisa at 10:42 PM (GMT) on 9 March, 2009

Just want to say that this image is amazing and is one of my favorites on this website. Keep up the good work.