Coon Rapids photographer captures Minnesota in HDR

For Coon Rapids resident and photographer Adam Ford, realizing a perfect landscape photo wasn’t possible was a breakthrough.

Adam Ford of Coon Rapids uses technology to create the perfect landscaping photo.
Adam Ford of Coon Rapids uses technology to create the perfect landscaping photo.

“There’s always bright areas or dark areas, and I thought it was the camera. I later learned with conventional photography it’s just not possible,” Ford said.

A friend of Ford’s wife convinced him to try high dynamic range (HDR) imaging and in Ford’s words, “it gave me exactly what I wanted.”

To use HDR photography, Ford shoots with his Canon 60B semi-professional camera and captures six photos of the same thing. He then puts them all together using computer software and manipulates the shadows and colors. After viewing professional photographer Trey Ratcliff’s HDR photography online, Ford really became focused on HDR.

“After seeing what he can do with HDR I said to myself I need to be doing that,” Ford said.

Ford now shoots HDR photography around Minnesota, including in Coon Rapids. He took a photo of a fire truck at the Coon Rapids Fire Department and sent it to them.

“We were all very impressed with the picture he did for us,” Coon Rapids Fire Department Administrative Secretary Shelley Chapin said.

Ford said having others enjoy the moments his camera captures makes it more meaningful to him. He had been doing photography for fun for many years on a small point-and-shoot camera, but decided to become more serious with it in 2007 and purchased the semi-professional camera he uses now.

Ford prefers to shoot natural landscapes and tries to keep man-made structures out of his work as much as possible, though he admits “sometimes a road just belongs there.”

He also loves to do custom work and shoot challenging subjects, like lightning.

“I like to shoot the things people don’t want to shoot because they think it’s too hard. I like to challenge myself to learn,” Ford said.

Ford said people aren’t his favorite subjects to shoot, but there are exceptions.

“I have a two-year-old son and I can’t stop taking photos of him,” he said with a laugh.

Ford posts his photos on the Capture Minnesota website, an ongoing photo contest sponsored by Twin Cities Public Television.

Although he hasn’t sold any photos on that website, Ford said many people view his photos on there and he has received a Photo of the Day award.

Capture Minnesota also published one of his photos in one of its books.

While photography is currently just a hobby for Ford, he said he would love for it to become his full-time career. “I daydream about it all the time,” he said.  

Bethany Kemming is at [email protected]