Wagner described to me what had happened when Hurricane Irene hit Hancock in 2011. The White River rose, swept away entire homes, and disinterred the corpses in nearby cemeteries. A wall of water out of the mountains shredded Route 100, leaving 20-foot canyons, isolating the village. National Guard helicopters were slow to arrive. The Federal Emergency Management Agency was nowhere to be seen. The residents held potluck dinners and planning sessions by candlelight, deputized a leadership, heaved pebbles and gravel in backhoes to begin the repair of the roads—they had no permits to do so—and sent emissaries on foot to outlier settlements, checking on the old and the infirm. Rick Gottesman, who lives with Kathleen Byrne at her inn and who told me he was a “quiet secessionist,” wrote about Irene in an e-mail:

“There was palpable pride in the town and its people and a distinct we-ain’t-waitin’-for-no-gubmint attitude. With rivers bursting with water, forests full of firewood, abundant gardens and most of all each other, we could have easily continued for several more weeks and longer.”
Christopher Ketcham writing in The American Prospect

I like HDR photography a lot. I’ve been messing around with it for a few years. Most of my efforts have been hit or miss. Not all subjects lend themselves to HDR photography and my technique and workflow is shoddy.

Recently I discovered an article by … where he detailed his workflow for creating beautiful HDR. I put the article away but only recently found the time to try out his workflow on a few of my images.

This is the original image of a fire truck for the Rocky Hill Hook & Ladder. I took the photo about a month ago a few days after Hurricane Irene blew through New Jersey. The Rocky Hill Hook & Ladder were out helping residents with flooded basements, cutting fallen trees, and keep idiot motorist off the flooded road and bridges in the area.

20110829 NIKON D40 3330

I started with a single RAW image and used Topaz Noise. I created four virtual copies and adjusted each +4/-4 and +2/-2 stop and then combined them in Photomatix Pro. I then tone mapped the image using Enhancer Painterly. That image is below.


I then imported the resultant image into Topaz Adjust and applied one of the standard presets. I think it was crisp. The result is the following. What do you think?