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      09-16-2010, 08:37 PM   #16
Rick F.
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Drives: 2013 BMW 335i cabriolet
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Catonsville, MD

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Originally Posted by onebluemcm View Post
Yeah, Rick, what an inspiration your trips are. Evern since getting the Z4M and then finding this forum, your day trip documentaries are something I really look forward to. I love car traveling and photography, and I really think just touring the country side to check out the historical sites is a blast. Sometimes, thing's go by too fast with the M, so I have to remind myself to take in the sites too.

Your touring of South Central PA is also fascinating because my wife and I spent some time in that area too, though I'd bet it's not what you might think. We were separated by 500 miles due to work/school for 2 year - she at Virginia Tech, I at Cornell. Turned out, Gettysburg was nearly exactly half way, so for 2 years we met there every 4-6 weeks, a few times staying in Carlisle or Chambersburg too. Gettysburg kind of became a second home for us and I've always wished we'd had more time to explore the general area. It's an area we'd move to with no reservations if the opportunity presented itself.

As always, the photos and comments were a pleasure to read. Great work!
(p.s., curious about some details of your photography - the photos seem so vivid, saturated - is it camera settings, or post processing, or both?)

I'm really glad that you enjoy the reports. I've never been able to figure out whether having an M Roadster instead of my 3.0i would mean (i) I'd get to interesting places much quicker than usual, or (ii) I would zoom by interesting sites so quickly that I'd never see them at all!

As you note, this part of Pennsylvania is exceptional. Lots of natural beauty, hills, valleys, woods, farms, etc., and more history per square inch than almost anywhere. Between PA, MD, VA, WV, and DE, I don't think I'll ever tire of exploring this area.

Regarding the photography, I use a Canon SX10 IS "superzoom" camera, usually with the "vivid" setting for the colors. The results are sometimes a little too much, but generally they're closer to real life than the standard setting.

In addition, most of my photos these days are "HDR"--high dynamic range. You take three pictures of a given subject, with -2, 0, and +2 stops, and then combine them digitally using a program like Photomatix. The goal is to capture the detail across the full range of light to dark. Usually with digital photos (or film, for that matter), it's all too easy for the sky to be washed out at the same time that shadows are just dark masses. By combining elements of over- and underexposed photos, you can get that detail back.

You have a huge amount of creative control over the results. With my favorite settings, I usually end up with a lot of saturation and a fairly even pattern of tones from light to dark. It really brings out the detail in streams, skies, shadows, and any heavily textured materials (e.g., weathered wood, rough stone, etc.). With these settings, I'm probably pushing (and sometimes exceeding) the limits of realism--not to mention good taste--but I prefer the dynamic look to a compressed, limited-range result.

Thanks again for your very kind comments.

Rick F.