The alarm on my blackberry woke me at 5am, it was Sunday morning, my day off work, and I planned to be up to photograph the sunrise. I'll be honest, I'm not the best in the morning and this morning I just couldn't stir myself, I couldn't leave the warmth of my bed.
At 9am I did finally drag myself out of the house and went down to the sea, I took a few shots but surprisingly for early March the light was very harsh and nothing jumped out at me.
On my way back I passed under Valley Bridge in Scarborough, a bridge I pass nearly every day, and saw that the light was working just right, the shadow of the bridge cutting across the support.
I set up in portrait format, either side of the bridge were gardens which distracted from the bridge itself so portrait was the obvious choice. A smallish aperture kept everything sharp. I took three exposures, one at the exposure I metered to be correct, one two stops under exposed, one two stops overexposed.
When I processed the images I initially worked on the first exposure and set everything apart from the exposure. I also used Capture One's excellent perspective control to stop my verticals converging (a hazard of shooting upwards). Once I was happy with that exposure I copied across the adjustments to the other two images. Capture One then exported the three images as TIFs.
I used Photomatix to combine the three images into one High Dynamic Range (HDR) image, this meant I could capture a far higher dynamic range than my camera could normally record, the sky wasn't blown out, there was still detail in the bridge structure above.
From the Photomatix created file I then converted the image to an Infra Red style in Photoshop, added a touch of contrast and then it was finished, I hope you like it.