From the category archives:



by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on august 25, 2010

I have been a fan of Trey Ratcliffs for some time now. Trey is one of the pioneers of HDR photography, and he has been instrumental in making this sort of photography popular and known by the masses.

For a while HDR has been regarded as a sort of artificial or unrealistic school of photography.
It was frowned upon by the photography establishment and until now not seen as a legitimate form in its own right. Many such photographers thought that the extreme dynamic range possible with HDR made the photographs “unrealistic” and not true to reality.

Until HDR emerged, everyone was used to the fact that a taking a photo meant committing to a certain exposure. Anyone who has tried photographing outside from whithin a building knows that the final photo either shows a proper lighting of the interior OR the exterior. That is, either the interior darker details are visible and the outside is a white blur OR the outside bright details, clouds etc are visible and the interior details of the room are a dark blur.

Traditional photography means you have to chose. But in real life we don’t have to chose. The eyes adjust to the proper sensitivity according to where we focus. The combined experience is that we can see BOTH the details in the clouds outside AND the darker details of the interior room. HDR works the same way – you get the best of both worlds, and a photo that is closer to the experience that you actually had when you were there.

Trey is a nice guy with a mission to promote HDR photography. He runs a blog at that has tens of thousands of visitors every day, but decided to help other HDR photographers spread their work and generate traffic to their sites. So he created which works as a traffic generation engine. It’s a community by invitation where members can upload and share their work.

I have posted numerous HDR photos to, and as a result thousands of people have now seen my photos of the fairy tale castles and landscapes that are so common in Scandinavia it’s almost hard to spot them. Here’s an example of what I mean: the lake pavillion in central Copenhagen. Visible from a unique angle this winter because of the prolonged frost that made walking on the lakes possible.


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Waiting in line

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on august 7, 2010

Yesterday afternoon i was out strolling with the kids in the pram and happened to pass by the gardens of the danish university of agriculture. A cafe has been set up in an old derelict greenhouse. I decided to have a local pilsner in the shade while the kids slept. Of course they woke up before I was finished standing in line. Classic.

As i leaned to lift the cover from the pram my beer spilled unto my pants. I had managed to drink one sip. Again classic. Todays HDR is from another more successful day in the palm house of the botanical gardens. Enjoy!

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by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on august 2, 2010

Staying together doesn’t just happen. It takes an effort to combat the threats that lurk in the corner. Whether external or internal, they still need to be fought.

Mundane issues become problems, questions become accusations, insecurity becomes certainty.
When it works, everything is rosy, when it doesn’t – hell.
Cognition is what separates us from cows. But God, they do look peaceful.

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HDR in the blizzard

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on februar 3, 2010

Here’s how being stuck in traffic sometimes spurs creativity.

Monday evening I found myself on a plane towards the northern city of Ålborg where I had a teaching appointment on tuesday.  The ride was smooth, and while the news reported of a looming snowstorm I felt confident that I was going to make it back to Copenhagen on my plane tuesday evening.  Not so wise as it turns out…  Most of Denmark has been bogged down in snow since tuesday afternoon.

Anyway I tip my hat to SAS and their kind staff for lodging me at the SAS radisson in Ålborg and checking me in on another flight wednesday morning instead.

Here’s when it gets juicy for all you HDR lovers. I was actually ready to go to bed at the hotel when I happened to cast a glance out the window…

There, moored at the quay was the Icebreaker Elbjørn in front of some makeshift ice skating rinks. I just could not resist this opportunity, so obviously I had to sneak up to the 6th floor of a service stairwell to find a suitable window from which to shoot a few handheld HDR series.

Here’s the result, 3 HDRs spaced 2 stops apart at f3,2 ISO 200 shot with my 35mm prime on a canon 7d. I did the tonemapping in photomatix and additional work in PS4 as well as adding some topaz adjust.


From Photography by Carl Frederik Waage Beck

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