some more pseudo HDR experiments

during sunday’s #twallfahrt i managed to take a couple of 5-step bracketed pictures, two of which i think produced some interesting results. the first one is the view from etzel pass towards einsiedeln:

at first i thought that it looks a bit weird, then i realized (and on my way home looked at the clouds with “different eyes”) that it does look like that.

the second one is a classical, an in-door shot in the church of the monastery of einsiedeln1:

i kind of like both, but the second one is more the classical one and i like it best. what do you think?


  1. we did have special dispens from @abtmartin to take pictures, to film, and — gasp — to twitter inside the church from 14:40–15:00 :-) 

world’s first twitter wallfahrt!

9:10 — ms d and i arrive at einsiedeln railway station, all kitted out in our walking gear, ready to go. walking past the train we spot our fellow pilgrims. yep, pilgrims: we are on our way to the starting point of the world’s first twitter pilgrimage, the #twallfahrt1 from pfäffikon to einsiedeln. in the train we meet @decolores1, @konzertharfe, @sempreincorsaa also ready to go on the #twallfahrt. just before the train is about to depart at 9:13 we are joined at the last second by @abtmartin — good thing, too, as he is supposed to lead us on our pilgrimage 🙂


i’m looking forward to the first twitter pilgrimage which is at the same time my first pilgrimage on foot (last year’s pilgrimage was by bus, which somehow gives it a different twist, i think). @abtmartin is apparently still in the “geheimprojekt” stage of the #twallfahrt, as he is not really forthcoming with any information about what’s planned.

we get to pfäffikon on time, cross through the station tunnel and see the #twilgrims gathered — a bit short of the maximum number of 8000 mentioned on @pixelfreund‘s blog (about 7969 short, in fact) bit still a sizable group. as various #twilgrims let us know via twitter, that they are still on their way, it’s a bit past 10:00 that we start on our way from pfäffikon up to etzel pass (where we’ll have a lunch break) and then on to einsiedeln to the benedictine monastery there.

the weather, fortunately, is cool, a bit humid, but not too bad, and the hike up “1000 steps” to etzel pass is easy to walk. the clouds are just fantastic (as a subscribed member of the cloud appreciation society i find blue sky days boring) — just past the autobahn we stop for our first #twallfahrt station: @abtmartin tells us a bit about the area (and the history of the monastery of einsiedeln), but the main focus is on two short canons (both in twitter length) that we even manage to render in a half decent way (no trees falling down, no birds falling from the sky). up and up it goes with the next stations at restaurant luegeten and at the fork in the road where the road from schindeleggi-feusisberg joins. around noon we are (as planned) on the etzel pass where a #twallfahrt group pictures are taken, we have a our lunch break, the sf drs tv team does the interviews with @abtmartin and we relax in the sun.

at 13:00 the #twallfahrt re-commences and via teufelsbrück and galgenenhügel we get closer and closer to our destination: the monastery of einsiedeln (interrupted by a short break to give the sf drs tv team a better take on us walking down to einsiedeln). the last station on our pilgrimage is at the gangulf chapel where we meet up with those #twitterati that couldn’t make it for the whole #twallfahrt, practice our twitter-length canons once more and then fight our way through the chilbi crowds to the klosterplatz — where we are greeted by a flag bearer and a cross bearer who lead the way, with the bells of the monastery ringing for our #twallfahrt, through the main entrance into the monastery church!

as we are a bit behind schedule, we #enjoy an even more twitterish worship service than planned — the highlight certainly being the twitterific organ piece (which @boumi manage to capture)!

an apero in the southern court yard concludes this unique #twallfahrt pilgrimage!

all in all: a very interesting and stimulating experience, meeting very different folks and with a couple of good spiritual impulses.

would i participate again? yes, i guess, i would 🙂

if you are interested, here are some further links:


  1. from the german wallfahrt and twitter == twallfahrt 

mucking around with pseudo HDRs

it’s taken a long time, but i finally managed to upload the pictures of our lake district vacation (back in may, yes…) to our photo website, the 50mm-traveller. for most of the pictures i used the exposure bracketing mode of my D700 (i.e., one picture taken at normal exposure, one a full stop below and the third a full stop above) together with the high-speed setting (5 pictures per second).

while sorting and enhancing the pictures in digikam i noticed that the latest version of digikam offered a blend bracketed images option and decided to give it a go. the experience was mixed: the plugin seems to be a bit on the unstable side of things, so saving to a PNG at the end of the process resulted in an ever increasing number of dialog box thrown at me, telling me that the work product could not be save because it already existed — it took a bit for me to realize that that was just a forcefully repeated lie: the picture had been saved, the plugin was just getting a bit confused, it seemed. otherwise the bracketed image blending tool worked rather well: it offered to align the photos i had taken, which was good, as i very very rarely carry a tripod with me and am just shooting from the hand. what was a bit of a “ok, now what” moment, was the final dialog: it offered a bunch of sliders and it’s not really obvious what each of them does. so i mucked around a bit, trying this and that.

here are two images that i quite like:

dsc_6255_6254_hdr-01

and

dsc_6285_6283_hdr-01

this next one looks nice in low resolution, but if you go to the full size version, you’ll notice that the alignment process didn’t really work out — and no surprise there: i was shooting that from a boat on the river thames in london, so quite a bit of movement there:

dsc_6787_6789_hdr-02

all in all, not too bad i think. stuff i want to try out: use the 5 bracket stop setting to get a wider range (-2 .. +2), perhaps invest in a power grip to boost the speed to 8 pics/sec.