At Stanford

A former business associate, and now friend, Scott Loftesness is also a pretty good photographer. Some time back, he was playing around with HDR photography. Here are a couple pictures from one of Scotts blogs, with the before and after.

Before HDR Processing–

With HDR Processing–

An old axiom of artists and painters like me is that painting is ‘better’ as photography cannot capture the true range of values the eye sees in one picture. In photography the darks are always too dark, and the lights too bright. When an artist paints on location, they paint what the eye sees as it adjusts to the lights and darks of a particular scene. I think HDR processing may have thrown that old axiom out the window!

We decided to get together for a ‘shootout’ where he would take a photograph, I would paint and compare the results. I mainly wanted to see how the values and color would match. We met at “The Quad” at Stanford University. After a stroll around the area, we decided to just shoot one of the the entrance towers.

Below are a few shots of the area–



A photo of Scott during our stroll–


Scott got his shot in and I commenced painting. Just being around Stanford in the cool morning air was a treat in itself. Hardly anyone was around. Here are a few shots of the painting spot.


Scott sent a picture he took of me–


Here is my easel–


The day started a little overcast, but soon the sun was out–


Here is the final painting which took about an hour–


I wasn’t trying to make a ‘world class’ plein air, but rather trying to capture the correct values to compare to the HDR process. As soon as Scott is finished with his HDR photograph, I’ll write another post or two comparing the two.