WHERE WE AT?
I had a few hours for myself in Hamilton, Bermuda recently. Ironically it was less than a week after Hurricane Gonzalo roared though this British Overseas Territory 1,100 miles Northeast of Miami.
Hurricane Gonzalo started to impact Bermuda as a Category 3 hurricane on October 17, 2014, the strongest storm to hit the island since 2003’s Hurricane Fabian. Gonzalo already caused destruction across the Caribbean, albeit as a much weaker storm, killing one person in St. Maarten and damaging homes and property in Antigua.
The prior week, Tropical Storm Fay passed over Bermuda with maximum sustained wind speeds of 70 mph, damaging both homes and knocking out power to 80,000 people. I had heard that more than 1,000 people were without power even before the Hurricane came ashore here in Bermuda!
I was really surprised that there wasn’t much damage. Apparently, Bermuda has very restrictive building codes…more so than Florida…and I can tell you that this may have prevented millions of dollars of damage. There were a few torn roofs, and a number of boats blown upon the beaches, but most of the damage was due to trees that were blown down.
Honestly, Bermuda didn’t look that bad! Although it is normally much greener in Bermuda, the 110 mph “salted-winds” is a good enough reason for me to understand the island’s situation. It isn’t that bad and still looks absolutely beautiful and charming. This island remains my second favorite island. The British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean are still my favorite.
HOW DID I DO THAT?!
I wanted to capture the detail of the storm clouds that were still blowing through Hamilton, and it’s mid morning. Not the best time to take photos. HDR…or High Dynamic Range was the solution.
I am not going to get into the details of HDR photography here, later that will be a full post in the “Tips & Tutorials” category. For now all you need to know is that your eyes are very sensitive. Your eyes may see 10 EV’s of light…the problem is cameras may only see 3 EV’s of light. So to increase the details in an image, you can take a bunch of photos at different exposures and combine them with software. This way…the photo shows what your eyes would see, plus a little extra detail.
I took 9 photos. I used a tiny tripod that I travel with to help keep the photos lined up. I had the f-stop set to f16 to create a sharp foreground and background. Recall that I said that I took 9 photos, then combined them with software…and this is the result. It allows you to see the details in the clouds, water, and sun attempting to break through that layer of clouds. As I was leaving…they were suppose to be getting more sun and blue skies. I am glad I got to see it with the storm clouds!