|Moon over Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple ~ by Steven Sharp (click to enlarge)|
After talking with Steven, I learned that he had indeed employed HDR techniques to capture this very contrasty night scene. After shooting three exposures in rapid secession (the typical 2 stops under, 2 stops over, and proper exposure), Steve used Photomatix Pro to combine the images. Screen captures, histograms, and metadata for the three images are supplied below (click to enlarge).
When I first looked at the image, I felt the composition could be improved with a vertical crop, but I then discovered Steven had taken the photo for a calendar contest featuring local LDS (Mormon) temples; and I realized the reason for the horizontal composition. This photo was chosen for the month of October 2014.
Steven has only been into serious picture-taking for a little over two years! "I started into photography when my oldest son, who wanted to settle a debt but didn't have cash, gave me a Nikon D80 and three lenses as payment," says Steven. "I knew nothing about photography, especially with a DSLR, but was excited to have a cool camera: look at all those buttons and settings to learn about! I [now] carry my camera and tripod with me almost everywhere I go. I've found that taking pictures is one of the best ways to learn how to take pictures. I'm having a blast making mistakes as I learn about photography. The learning never stops and neither does the fun!"
More of Steven's photography can be seen at his website, including his most recent photos taken at Bryce Canyon NP.