This spring weather has been outstanding - I really hope it lasts. It has been the perfect time for me to test out a new technique that I have finally begun to take more seriously: High Dynamic Range photography, also known as HDR. This concept attempts to solve the problem of the limited dynamic range of digital camera sensors. This means that the range between the highlights (whites) and shadows (blacks) for which the sensor can capture is much smaller than in nature.
As most people eventually find out taking a picture of a scene where the sky is even a little brighter than the main subject that either the sky turns totally white, or the subject becomes dark and muddy. Often there are patches of either too-bright or too-dark areas that make the photo look uneven. HDR uses multiple images taken at different exposure setting which are merged in software to eliminate these extremes.
This photo of the Newtown clock tower was produced using this technique. I combined three different images with an inexpensive (yet powerful) software package called Photomatix. After tweaking the output from Photomatix I ended up with a resulting image that I really like. The flowering tree is what really makes this composition pop.
HDR requires a few things: A digital SLR, a tripod, and a software package. If you have access to these then you can expand your horizons and try this technique yourself. Let me know if you need more tips on how to do this, although I learned most of what I know through simple web searches.
This is one photo that I will certainly be printing and selling at art fairs this year. You can view more of my images at www.shadesofgreenphoto.com