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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Stoking The Flame

In her “Ghosts of the West” project, Cheyenne Rouse reignited her love of photography by embracing HDR

This Article Features Photo Zoom

“Pony Express Riders.” The Hashknife Pony Express Riders gallop into Scottsdale every February to commemorate the historic route from Holbrook, Ariz. Applying HDR to such a tight composition with shallow depth of field generates an ethereal effect.
Since then, I’ve been on a mission to photograph historic places and objects around the West and Southwest. My journey has taken me from Golden Spike National Historic Site in northern Utah to the Pony Express Trail to Route 66 on down to Tombstone in southern Arizona, with many stops in between. Out of this journey my Ghosts of the West: Celebrate the American West—The History, The Lore, The Culture photo series and book were born. So many of these historic places and things are disappearing, and I feel it’s my mission to document them and make them come alive again with my photographs before they’re gone and to document what’s so uniquely American about this part of the country. I love what I do and feel so fortunate to get to share my passion for the West and Southwest through my photographs, and I have HDR to thank for opening up a whole new world (again) to me.

Cheyenne L. Rouse is a self-taught photographer and has been a professional since 1989, when she felt the call of the West. She has written numerous magazine articles and monthly columns. With her unique vision, she captures the subtle moods, the textures and may-be the ghosts that somehow live on in the rusted, abandoned artifacts of the Old West. Rouse now makes her home in Scottsdale, Ariz. Go to www.ancientlightphotos.com or visit the Ancient Light Gallery in Scottsdale.

HDR Software Options

Until recently, a photographer didn’t have many choices for sophisticated HDR, but within the past year, that has changed. HDRsoft’s Photomatix Pro shares the spotlight with other options. Adobe Photoshop, for example, has built-in HDR capability, and in Photoshop CS5, it has improved significantly over previous versions of that standard image-processing software. Ever Imaging’s HDR Darkroom supports 16-bit TIFF files, and it works as a RAW converter as well as an HDR program. Their newest HDR software, HDR Photo Pro, expands on HDR Darkroom’s capabilities by adding a range of sophisticated color controls, as well as added functionality. List Price: $79 (HDR Darkroom); $129 (HDR Photo Pro); www.hdrdarkroom.com. Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro brings the company’s trademark ease of use and photographer-ness to high dynamic range work. HDR Efex Pro is available as a 32- or 64-bit plug-in for Photoshop CS3-CS5, Lightroom 2.3 or later and Aperture 2.1 or later. List Price: $159; www.niksoftware.com. Unified Color Technologies HDR Expose works as standalone software or as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom or Apple Aperture. List Price: $149; www.unifiedcolor.com.


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