Wednesday HDR – En Route to Miami Version

As we head south today, I leave you with an HDR I cooked up one rainy cold winter day, in front of the wood stove at the studio. This one is from somewhere up on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo.

Shot with a Nikon D-700, processed with PhotoMatix, Nik filters and Photoshop CS5. And a texture added. Click to make it much bigger. And see 365 more HDR photos here, at


The Vatican, Rome – Wednesday HDR



Here’s an HDR combined from three exposures, not exactly hand held, but propped up on the wall at the Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome. That’s the Tiber River on the left, and the dome in the background, center, is the Vatican. Click it to make it bigger.

There are 354 more HDRs here at

Shot with a Nikon D-700, made HDR in Photomatix, finished with Nik plug-ins and CS5.

Wednesday HDR: One More from Rome, on Canvas

One more contribution like last week's two from Italy. Not having enough fresh new material from abroad lately, I've been trolling old, unprocessed RAWs.

One day December before last I climbed to the top of Castel Sant'Angelo, alongside the Tiber River just a stone's throw from the Vatican. Here's an HDR from that day. It's three RAW shots, handheld, with a Nikon D700, combined in Photomatix and finished in Photoshop CS5:


Click the photo to make it really, really big. See related photos in the Italy Gallery and the HDR Gallery at

Wednesday HDRs: Lack-of-Travel Fatigue

Haven't been out on the road nearly enough lately. A not entirely satisfying substitute is to go back to a few bracketed shots that you never got around to converting to HDRs. Here are two from a 2009 trip to Rome. Click 'em to make 'em much bigger.


It's the Vatican on top and just a generic apartment block below. Compare the processed image in the bottom photo with the lackluster original.


Low Season, Minor Destinations


There's patchy show in the fields as our train brings us down from Lecco, on the less famous branch of the lake called Como on the other side, north of Milan. We've been poking around in tourist towns in the midst of their very slow season. Farther up in the Alps, ski resorts will be busy now, but here in these pre-Alps south of the Dolomites, villages still put on the remnants of their Christmas markets to dwindling crowds, as people returned home to get back to work this week.


The other night as darkness fell, just off a ferry and chilled through, we hustled into the second bar past the dock in the little village of Varenna. The left of the building was an albergo with rooms for E70. The right half housed a bar/community center/news stand/kiosk, run by husband and wife, he serving campari and sodas and complimentary tiny squares of anchovy pizza, she furiously vending lottery tickets and cigarettes behind the cash register. Four men played cards (one of them eyeing me suspiciously) while one of their wives watched. A cadre of rough dock worker types smoked and drank beer around a table, some of them seated, the less cool dudes having to stand. Valerie Bertinelli starred in something on Rai Uno TV.

It was family night, community center and happy hour all in one, and it was fabulous.

(Top photo, Varenna, Italy, and bottom, the card game, from