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July 9, 2013

Corvette + Sony Nex-6 and RX1 + HDR Photography = Killer Photos!

Corvette HDR Photograph - Nex-6 and 55-210mm lens

My very good friend Mark came over on Sunday with his new Corvette and I managed to get some HDR Photos with my Sony Nex-6 and theΒ DSC-RX1 I just reviewed Here>>.Β  I asked Mark if I could take a few photos, because why not take advantage of having an awesome car to pose and take pics of? Plus I still have the RX1 and I was curious how it would handle some HDR Photography processing.

I did not bring a tri-pod with me unfortunately, so all of these HDR Photos are 3three exposure hand-held frames.

I used the widest bracketing option available on my Nex-6 and the RX1 which was 3EV, meaning -3,0,+3 would be the exposure’s produced. I was shooting raw and raised the ISO a bit so the +3EV photo had a fast enough shutter speed to no be blurry. Normally I would leave the cameras on ISO 100, because I would use a tri-pod. A tri-pod and remote shutter is the proper way to do the job, but you can get excellent results handheld thanks to the awesome image stabilization, and aligning tools in the HDR Processing software. In my case, Photomatix Pro 4.



Sony Raw Files VS HDR Photography

Here are the three raw files my Nex-6 captured for the first image that is the feature photo above, but is also below in a higher resolution form πŸ˜‰ You can see that the brightest +3ev exposure is totally blown out, but it has most of the shadow detail captured. Then on the darker side we have most of the bright sky detail captured. In the middle at 0ev we have the compromise standard exposure that is really not very good for anything as is.

Be sure to Click on the Photos for the Large ~1200px Versions!

Nex-6, 55-210mm, -3,0,+3 exposure's

Nex-6, 55-210mm, -3,0,+3 exposure’s

Now, if you blend all three exposure’s using a program like Photomatix you can get some cool results like this HDR Photograph. Using the 55-210mm e-mount lens, I was able to get a much better perspective of the vette, in my opinion, by moving way back and zooming into 167mm. This makes the car look much leaner and low to the ground. It also allows the for the large distance of road in the foreground to blur out creating an inviting pull into the image. When you look at the next image, you should be able to see what I mean more clearly πŸ˜‰

Be sure to Click on the Photos for the Large ~1200px Versions!

Corvette HDR Photograph - Nex-6 and 55-210mm lens @ 167mm

Corvette HDR Photograph – Nex-6 and 55-210mm lens @ 167mm


Here’s a wider angle using the 18-55mm kit lens and Nex-6, which allowed for sky to be added into the frame. The wider angle certainly allows for more sky, but also introduces a little distortion into the scene. In this case it looks pretty cool, but I still prefer the farther away zoomed in look personally.

Nex-6, 18-55mm, -3,0,+3 exposure's

Nex-6, 18-55mm, -3,0,+3 exposure’s

Nex-6, 18-55mm @55mm, -3,0,+3 exposure's

Nex-6, 18-55mm @55mm, -3,0,+3 exposure’s


The Sony RX1 also did a good job, but was a bit more wide angle than I was looking for to be honest. The wider angle did make for a super dramatic sky however. I also found it a bit harder to hand-hold steady using the screen as apposed to the viewfinder on my Nex-6. A tri-pod was really needed I’ll say again πŸ˜‰

Sony DSC-RX1, -3,0,+3 exposure's Lightroom4

Sony DSC-RX1, -3,0,+3 exposure’s Lightroom 4

Sony DSC-RX1, -3,0,+3 exposure's Lightroom 4

Sony DSC-RX1, -3,0,+3 exposure’s Lightroom 4


This last image was also taken with the Full Frame RX1 and offers a wide angle view with lots of hood. Note how the distortion seems to stretch the hood making it look even longer than it really is.

Be sure to Click on the Photos for the Large ~1200px Versions!

Sony RX1, -3,0,+3 exposure's

Sony RX1, -3,0,+3 exposure’s

Sony DSC-RX1, -3,0,+3 exposure's Lightroom 4

Sony DSC-RX1, -3,0,+3 exposure’s Lightroom 4


The Ride in the Corvette

I must tellΒ  you about the ride we went for, because it’s the fastest car I have ever been in acceleration wise to date. We only went up to maybe 90-100mph, but man did we get there in a hurry. The Corvette cruised along like a normal pretty stiff riding car and had some nice torque when leaving traffic lights and stuff like like that. However, when my buddy Mark dropped the Hammer down I was totally blow away! Mashed back into my seat harder than I ever recall, and the roar that the engine made was incredible. It was a completely different car than we were just in 10 seconds earlier, let me tell you! An absolute monster of an automobile. The tires barley spun and just hooked up raising the whole stance of the car in the process. With the engine at full toque, the car is loading the entire chassis with a tremendous twisting force. The Corvette just focused all the power down to the pavement like a race car. My 1000cc Yamaha FZ1 was a bit faster 0-100mph, but only with perfect clutch execution. Needless to say, the ride was fun and I did take it for a little spin myself. I went easy on her though. Not my car and it was a bit hard to shift quickly with a tight gearbox.

It’s a 1999 Corvette if you were wondering, and apparently has a cam with some other minor tweaks. Mark is going to hook it up more though he promises and I will bring the GoPro next time πŸ˜‰


Closing Remarks

That is about it for now, but for more detailed tutorials on how to process HDR Photographs, be sure to check out my detailed HDR Tutorials Area (Click Here)

Beyond that, I have the New Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8 lens and the three Sigma E-Mount Art lenses to review πŸ˜‰ I currently have the Zeiss mounted to my Nex-6 and it looks and feels really well made. Very heavy and old school Minolta lens like in weight. The Sigma lenses are also pretty nice although not near the same build quality as the Zeiss.

More to come on the Zeiss and Sigma lenses. I actually think I might do a rolling review for both and just add sample pics as I take them, saving the conclusion for the end. Makes it easier for me, but not necessary the best review format, because often you will have to come back to see updates rather than it just being done. Still not sure what I’m going to do, but stay tuned!

Catch up with you later,


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  1. Very nice HDR’s. Love the perspective in the first shot. Nice job Jay!

  2. john

    Really nice shoots Jay –

  3. Mark

    Great write up Jay I saw the image on G+ and liked before I saw it here and made the connection. Thanks for inspiration to try something like this although I will have to was my car now πŸ™‚

    • Jay

      Thanks Mark πŸ˜‰ Just bring her thru the car wash first!

      The trick I used was getting low with the camera almost on the pavement, and being pretty far away, but zoomed in to ~170mm to make the frame.

      Have fun,

  4. Great job. Loving the Nex-6 myself. Getting used to the 3 frames HDR instead of 5 with the a700.

    Again, great job on the vette. Love the clouds!

    • Jay

      Thanks Ryan for the comments πŸ˜‰ Do you find the five brackets significantly better? I’ve only had cameras that do 3 unless I used manual mode or exposure comp to get 6. I notice when only having three, the middle exposure needs to be perfect, so often a +1 exposure comp is a nice trick to try. Then you would get -2, +1, +4 if you were using the 3 ev spread option. I find this useful for some scenes when the camera makes the 0 exposure to dark.

      Have a good day,

  5. Gerard

    Probably have viewed (studied) the pics a half dozen times on different days. With each angle of view You optimized the capture. Good job sir.

    That being as that is, even if I had the money I would not buy one of those cars. But from the photography/photographer point of view, those are some marketable photos… worthy of inclusion into Your portfolio. Keep a close eye on them.

    • Jay

      Thanks Gerard for the kind words about the captures πŸ˜‰ They don’t meet the quality standards for my portfolio purposes, but the sediments are very appreciated! I would have to re-shoot these with a tri-pod and perfectly clean car for that!


      • Gerard

        Well then, it seems that You have to schedule a shoot with all appropriatenesses at hand. Shooting Canon and Sony (bodies and lenses) would be something You might fit in for an article or two… or three.

      • Jay

        I wish I had that kind of time πŸ˜‰ Perhaps my next vacation I can set something up really cool like that Gerard!


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