A photographer friend came for a visit to take a look (and photograph) some of the local sights. Even without the pictures, the weather and the mosquitoes made the day memorable. If you’ve ever been out on a mosquito infested bog in nearly 30 °C heat with camera gear on your back, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I had my Bugshirt and bugspray, but the Bugshirt just made me even warmer so the bugspray quickly ran down with the sweat. I got the pictures, but it’s obvious that my concentration had suffered.
Then we swapped the bog for a forest. It was still warm, there were even more mosquitos, but now the heat had resulted in a thunderstorm brewing around us so we got a few drops of rain and it cooled down just a little bit. I finally got a picture of a herb paris (Paris quadrifolia) flower – it doesn’t look like a flower the way you normally think flowers look like, but it’s beautiful none the less.
We did some more sightseeing and a little bit of photography (including my failed attempt at catching a dragonfly on sensor), and then it was time to start driving home. Not without detours though, so we stopped at the Hållberget viewpoint and found that the smoke from the forest fires in northern Hälsingland had reached this far, so there was no chance of seeing the Sånfjället mountain this time.
The sun was starting to set by now, but we had time to make another small detour to take a look at the Högforsen rapids. I’ve been there many times, but I’ve never taken any pictures – either I can’t find a good composition, or the light is wrong, or whatever, but it just hasn’t worked for me. I didn’t even bother to take the camera with me, so imagine my surprise when we got to the rapids and saw the setting sun cast its last rays on the water! We half ran back to the car to get the gear, and finished the day with a good photography session.
As for the picture, it’s a pseudo-HDR creation. There was no chance to get the sky and the water exposed in the same frame, so I bracketed and installed the Photomatix trial to see what it can make of the images. Total crap, that’s what – possibly because I can’t use the software, and possibly because I just don’t like the look of a full HDR, not with this image anyway (because I will admit that HDR looks good with some images I’ve seen). So I did it the old-fashioned way with luminosity masks, gradients and eraser with different opacity settings and I’m happy with the result – it looks more like something you could create in camera with a gradient filter so my conservative eyes accept it more easily than a full HDR which screams out ”impossible”!