This is a photograph of a former steel casting foundry where both of my grandfathers worked during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. After coming home as a soldier in WWII, my uncle also worked here as a Foreman until it’s closing in the 1970’s. The floating dust in the sunlight is meant to personify the ashes and ghosts of my grandfathers.
This image is actually a combination of seven photographs utilizing hardware and software in what is known as high dynamic range (HDR) photography. Some of the characteristics of HDR are as follows:
- The camera is placed on a tripod
- A Promote Control unit is connected to the camera
- The camera mode is set for aperture priority
- The aperture is set to a middle f-number like f/11
- The camera and Promote Control are configured for one-second mirror lock-up
- Take three, five, seven or nine pictures
- Process the pictures with Nik software
There are many, many parameters to set-up and experiment with in both the hardware and software configurations of HDR photography. I am very pleased with the settings I have chosen for Ghosts of My Grandfathers. I think it has the right balance of HDR characteristics of expanding the range of light (i.e., dynamic range) and the realism of the actual scene, which allows me to focus the viewer towards the dust as the personification mechanisim.