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If you have not been to the Old California Ghost town of Bodie – you owe it to yourself to put it on the must visit list. Established in 1859 when Gold was discovered it was truly the wild west. After the mines gave out – a few hearty soles hung in until 95% of the town burned early in the 20th century. What is left is protected by the Friends of Bodie foundation. A tough job but these dedicated people went above and beyond to make sure I could get the photos I wanted. The first thing you should know about Bodie is that it is over 8000 feet above sea level. If you come from an area near sea level – the air is very thin and even the simple things become difficult. Drink plenty of water and take things slow.

Unlike so many of the state and federal park lands – tripods are allowed. This is necessary if you are into HDR as I am. I had the unique pleasure of spending most of my time here with Kelby Media’s R.C. Concepcion – Yes the HDR master himself – what a learning experience. We got to spend days traveling together and exchanging ideas – Thanks RC – I hope your lessons were not in vain. His book “ The HDR Book” was a great start and got me interesting in this new form of expression.

I also want to thank my friend and co worker Bill Fortney and a whole host of others that made the trip so much more that just a shooting adventure. 15 new friends – What a joy to spend time with all of you.

Here is a select images from the days shooting – I plan on going back – so much to shoot there – just can’t do it in one day. 

After the images there is info on the HDR process that I used.

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If you are interested in HDR here is some additional information.

1. I usually shoot 7 or 9 frames – choosing 9 if the contrast is really high

2. I use a combination of Photomatix Pro and the new NIK software plug-in HDR Efex. Some of these are with the first version of NIK HDR Efex – NIK has just released a new version (2) – several of the images in the gallery were processed with NIK HDR Efex 2.

3. These images were all with a Nikon D800 – incredible camera even if I am prejudiced since I work for Nikon.

4. All images start as NEF RAW files.

5. After Tonemapping – most images are then worked in either Nikon Capture NX2 and or Photoshop (still learning about Photoshop)

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