Flickr a Day 106: ‘La Nave de Juan Diego’

Today’s selection comes with a question: Does the effect appeal to you? Computer scientist by day, photographer the rest of the time, Pedro Szekely is a fan of HDR—high dynamic range—techniques for shooting and processing images. Done right, the method can add great depth to the final photo, particularly when taken in unfavorable conditions, such as low or harshly-mixed lighting.

Self-titled “La Nave de Juan Diego”, captured on July 10, 2013, is one of Pedro’s better photos using HDR. On Day 105, we saw example of a photographer who years later decided the original was better than the HDR composite. By contrast, given the high view count of this photo, more than 22,000, and that of other renders in the photostream, many, many other people presumably prefer Pedro’s punchy style. 

What sets apart Pedro’s high dynamic range renders is his methodical, deliberate approach. Many cell phones or digital cameras offer HDR modes that capture several photos and combine them to produce, hopefully, something superior. He will take time to manually capture and combine separate shots. The technique’s application is main reason this shot from Salento Square in Quindio, Colombia, makes the day.

The final is from “three [iSO] autobracket shots on the Fuji X100S—4, 8, and 15 seconds—on a little Gorilla tripod. Didn’t expect the awesome starbursts at f/16”, he explains. Vitals for the first: f/4, ISO 800, 4 sec, 23 mm. The long exposure times for the combined final also create more of a 3D effect, which isn’t uncommon for HDR photos but pops here.

“I’ve been a big fan of photography since 2005, when I bought a Canon Digital Rebel”, Pedro says. I started a year earlier with the same camera. “I was 47 years old at the time, and I started buying books and magazines and whenever I could got out to shoot. I live and work in Los Angeles, just a mile from the coast, so when I see a nice sunset I head for the beach. My favorite beaches are Manhattan Beach and Venice Beach with nice piers, waves and surfers”.

In September 2006, Pedro joined Flickr, where he remains active. He sells higher-quality versions through his website.

Photo Credit: Pedro Szekely