Memorial Day in Zachary Taylor National Cemetery

Today is Memorial Day so I decided to go to Zachary Taylor National Cemetery and shoot the flags that are there to honor these men and women. Walking among them you are struck by how much many of them gave to preserve our freedom. Many of the graves are for those who died in combat and many more are those who only lived a short time after World War II. Interspersed with the headstones are many marble plaques that memorialize the crews of Army Air Corps Airmen that were lost and the Sailors whose ships were sunk throughout WW II. It is a very moving place to visit and I thank each and every person who has served our country.

These images are true HDR images comprised of multiple exposures that were merged and tone mapped in NIK HDR Efex Pro. I used the Realistic Photographic preset as a starting point and then adjusted some of the sliders to achieve the look I wanted. Once I had the first image adjusted to suit me I created my own preset which I then applied to subsequent images in the shoot. By making myself a preset I was able to get an image close to my vision for it and then only needed to adjust one or two sliders to get the final image. After using the NIK software I returned the images to Aperture 3 where I sharpened and straightened them for final output.

I shot in the last couple of hours of the day in an effort to accent the somber feeling that this cemetery gives me. The only difficulty with shooting there at sunset is that there are so many trees around the cemetery is is difficult to capture the sun’s fading rays on the headstones.

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