Bringing Color Out of Shadows

It was a cold, bitter day at San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Wind blew fog and mist, and everything was dull and grey. Inside Fort Point, at the southern (San Francisco) end of the bridge, it was even darker. Water had collected in puddles on the floors, and green algae adorned the brickwork. It was not a very inviting place. Undaunted, I prodded myself to take some HDR series of this place. To show what it looked like, here is a middle exposure:

 A middle exposure of Fort Point, San Francisco.

A middle exposure of Fort Point, San Francisco.

There are many ways to process HDR images. Below is the image processed with one of the Photomatix presets:

 HDR can bring color and detail from the shadow areas.

HDR can bring color and detail from the shadow areas.

Now all that is needed is a model (the wonderful Crystal Gomez) and some smoke:

 Crystal at Fort Point.

Crystal at Fort Point.

The moral of the story is, when photographing HDR scenes: Shoot now, think later. Often, dull, dreary scenes make for some of the most interesting images. And don't forget, you can always delete them if you are do not like them.