Deck The Halls With Websites; Have An HDR Christmas Page 2
Gabe Almaraz and Amanda Ogletree are the creative team behind White Hot Phoenix, which is located in Austin, Texas. While their site features six galleries in addition to the one specifically named HDR, their use of High Dynamic Range imagery permeates all their photography. Let’s start in the HDR gallery. Forget subtlety, Almaraz and Ogletree’s images hit you over the head with a colorful frying pan and won’t let you up until you surrender. Images are presented in a slide show format, without titles, but you may pause it long enough to examine a particular image in detail. And their images are loaded with detail to ogle. There’s lots to love here, too, and I was especially taken by the photograph of a mural artist’s painting outdoors that has a nostalgic feel reminiscent of a Joseph Craig English (www.josephcraigenglish.com) silkscreen. The images in the Portrait collection feature occasional flashes of HDR and it works amazingly well to tell a story about their mostly young subjects. HDR and architecture were made for one another because you get the full megillah; sky and textures in the buildings and surrounding landscape combine to produce drama only HDR can create. A great shot of a Hobby Lobby store? You have to see it to appreciate it. The same is true of all their other galleries, and don’t miss their blog to see what Almaraz and Ogletree are up to!
Mike Olbinski is an Arizona photographer who shoots wonderfully natural-looking portraits, mostly of kids, with a few adults thrown in for variety. His Portrait collection is not to be missed and is chock full of warm, human (and believe me that’s harder than it looks) monochrome and endearing soft color images of children. His Events collection uses similar styling with a more photojournalistic feel. You have to jump into his blog to see what he refers to in the “About” section, where he says, “I love weather photography, landscape pictures and anything else that strikes me as being worthy of a shutter snap.” This is where you’ll see some of his HDR imagery. The blog format gives him room to talk about the photographs such as “Storms Over the Four Peaks,” which bristles with the kind of exquisiteness that only the desert and HDR photography can produce in the hands of a talented photographer such as Olbinski. For a complete change, don’t miss his image of a “Canal near Damme, Belgium.” But the piece d’resistance of the blog is the entry entitled “Enough Already with the HDR Bashing” in which Olbinski lays it on the line about why he loves High Dynamic Range photography, and also features an image of a barn and silo that, like all of his work, contains a delicate beauty. At one point he says, “Art is art. It’s about creating something.” And that’s what Olbinski has created with his site—art.
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