the lift tower / 20 December, 2008 [click for previous image: the face of winter]
the lift tower / 20 December, 2008 [click for next image: a look back at 2008]
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Title • the lift tower

As you will all have noticed I haven't been posting at all regularly in recent weeks, not because I don't want to, but because I haven't had anything to post. The upside of my lack of blogging is that we've been busy arranging a variety of things, all of which will carry us through until May 2009.

Our major project for the New Year, and the one that will keep us busy up until mid-March, is a book on HDR Photography. It's provisionally titled 'Practical HDR', was commissioned by Ilex Press, and will be published by Focal Press at some point in the 3rd of 4th quarter of 2009. If you've been visiting for a while, you may remember that I did a book on baby photography for the same publisher last year, so it was good to get asked to do another one.

As I'll be writing a whole book on the topic I'll also take the opportunity to write a couple more HDR tutorials to add to part one and part two that have already been published alongside our other online tutorials. I'm not entirely sure of which topics I'll be covering yet, but I suspect that one will be on creating photo-realistic HDR images and the other will be on either working with low-contrast scenes or single RAW files (or maybe both).

And if that wasn't enough on the same topic, I'll also be running an HDR class at this year's Gulf Photo Plus training event in Dubai (March 30th to April 4th). I've attended the last two GPP events but this year promises to be better than ever with a great list of photographers: Joe McNally, David Hobby, Drew Gardner, Vincent LaForet, Zack Arias, Carol Dragon, Chase Jarvis, Cliff Mautner, Asim Rafiqui, Chris Hurtt, Bobbi Lane, and Robin Nichols (and probably a few more I've forgot to mention).

I'll also be continuing to run my HDR class at PPSOP (the Perfect Picture School of Photography). I've been running the course for around three months now, and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. If you've interested in signing up for any of their courses now would be a good time as they're offering a 10% discount until tomorrow (i.e. the 21st).

And finally, I'll also be running an HDR course for Aspen Photo Workshops (run by Charlie Borland) in Tampa, Florida, from the 19th of April until the 23rd. If you're interested, there's more information about the course listed here. I'm really looking forward to this one, not least because I've never been to Florida.

So, if you are an HDR fan, then it's all good news. If not, then ... err ... come back in May ;-) More seriously though, I won't just be posting HDR stuff as I imagine that I'll probably fancy a bit of a change at some point – probably by the end of the first week in January :-)

All of which brings me neatly to today's shot: the old lift tower at Bispham, a couple of miles up the coast from Blackpool. It was constructed from a a seven shot sequence (with a 1 EV spacing) and processed with Photomatix Pro, after which I merged the sky from one of the original images. If you're interested, the metered exposure is here:


focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
11.00am on 20/12/08
Canon 1Ds Mark II
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
7 exposures (1/4 to 1/250)
aperture priority
Photomatix Pro
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