Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Salford Quays Welshot Imaging HDR Workshop Review

After about four months of posting just images to my blog I thought I would put pen to paper (or finger to button!) to write my first blog post!  As some of you may have seen on the images I posted to FlickR at the start of April I attended a full day workshop at Salford Quays, Manchester with the Welshot Imaging team (http://www.welshotimaging.co.uk/).  Welshot are a photographic academy based in North Wales and owned by Lee Iggulden and Eifion Williams. Between them (and with the help from a number of professional photographers) they run a number of academy evenings, photography workshops, courses and events in the UK and sometimes in many locations worldwide.
The theme for the workshop on Sunday 3rd April 2011 was HDR Architecture and was done in conjunction with a professional photographer, Ade Wilson (from www.mcfade.co.uk).  The day started with a lecture by Ade on how to shoot many different styles of Architecture (all supported by examples that he had prepared for the workshop) and then moved onto some useful tips on how to ensure that the best image was captured “in-camera”.  The morning then continued with a hands-on practical guide of how to take the three-bracketed exposures with our own personal camera (helped out by Welshots very own “walking camera manual” also known as Eifion Williams).  The three different levels of exposure are essential to capture the high-dynamic-range needed in this style of photography.
Once the introduction and morning lecture was complete we set off out around the local area to recapture a number of images that Ade Wilson had taken on a previous visit to prepare for this workshop.  In recreating these images we had to look closely at his original image (composition, lines, angles and focal length) and this technique of learning by recreating an original image I personally found a very effective way of learning.  Heres one such example:
Ade Wilsons Image 1:
_MG_1800_1_2Adjust - Copy

My attempt of Image 1:
204/1000 - Salford, Media City 6

Once we had captured a number of images of Salford we returned to the conference suite where we where based to have lunch and then start to look at post-processing of the HDR images taken.  One of the things I have discovered about HDR photography is the very personal nature of everyones HDR post-processing technique.

Ade Wilsons Image 2:
_MG_1911_2_3Adjust - Copy

My attempt of Image 2:
210/1000 - Salford, Media City 12

Everybody I have spoken to about HDR or indeed any of the many examples of how-to-do HDR processing examples I have seen on the internet (including the excellent www.stuckincustoms.com run by Trey Ratcliff) are all completely different.  Each different post processing technique can produce an equally excellent but different result.

Ade Wilsons Image 3:

My attempt of Image 3:
212/1000 - Salford, Media City 14

During the post processing session, Ade Wilson showed us the method he used to generate his HDR images by using a combination of Photomatix and Photoshop but also included some very handy tips on how to correct perspective problems which is a very common problem for Architecture photography.

Ade Wilsons Image 4:

My attempt of Image 4:
205/1000 - Salford, Media City 7

As with all Welshot Imaging workshops I am always surprised as to what I learn on these events and most of the time it’s the small things that I find the most useful.  The recreation of Ade Wilsons original images of the surrounding area during this workshop is a very interesting and effective way of learning how to take a great image and its one I’ll be using again around my local area of Chester.

Ade Wilsons Image 5:

My attempt of Image 5:
209/1000 - Salford, Media City 11

As for what I have learned on Architecture photography well, I was in Coventry last weekend and I have already managed to put some of these new skills to good use:

270/1000 - Outside Coventry Cathedral 1


  1. Excellent article MArk - managed to see it now!

  2. Fabulous work - great to see the contrast in styles and HDR processing between yours and Ade's


  3. Outstanding photographs........
    Like these.

  4. Very nice HDR-photos. Thank you for posting this. I'm using https://aurorahdr.com/natural-looking-hdr-images to make HDR images. Which tool did you use?