October 18, 2009

The Autumn at Allerton Park

Allerton Park entrance in autumn
Entering Allerton Park

The changing leaves means the Allerton Trail Run is coming up. This is one of my favorite races for a variety of reasons. I love the trail. The race is a good distance for me. The weather is cooling down, and my running thrives in cool weather. The race falls right before, after, or (like last year) on my birthday. You may recall I ran 30 miles at Allerton last year in celebration of my 30th birthday.

I like to get in a few loops on the trail in the weeks leading up to the race to re-familiarize myself with it, so the last two Sundays I've run at Allerton. Last week the Sangamon river was so high that parts of the trail were waist deep under water. I walked around three of these places and splashed through one other. I was expecting it to be ankle deep, but it was knee deep. That was a wet surprise in 39˚ weather.

Allerton north trail

Fortunately, this week the river was four or five feet lower and no parts of the trail were under water. Hopefully, it won't rain to much this week and the course will remain fast for the race next week.

After my run today I took a little time to snap some photos. For most of them I used bracketed exposures. For each photo I actually took three photos: one with normal exposure, one underexposed, and one overexposed. The underexposed photo picks up details in the bright areas of the photo (e.g. the sky) and the overexposed image picks up details in the dark areas (e.g. shadows).

Once back home I combined each set of three images into a single high dynamic range photo and adjusted the levels so both the lights and the darks are visible in same image. If combined well HDR images look spectacularly vibrant and detailed. If combined poorly HDR images look very unnatural and washed out. I'm still pretty new to HDR so I may not of done a great job, but most of them look pretty decent I think.

Fu Dog Garden
Fu Dog garden

Fu Dog Garden
Fu Dogs

House of the Golden Buddhas
House of the Golden Buddhas

Near Allerton Park
Leaving Allerton Park


Chris Ⓥ said...

Nice photos Rob. I need a better digital camera. Would love to try that HDR stuff! For now, my very small and lightweight digital camera will have to suffice--at least for my "photos on the run" snapshots. Good luck at the Allerton trail race.

Anonymous said...

I didn't understand any of that, but I do know you take beautiful pictures!

Nice job!