Firstly, in case you’re unaware, HDR is short for High Dynamic Range. This is a common technique used by photographers to manipulate a scene to create proper exposure when otherwise impossible through post-processing.

A perfect example for this is capturing a landscape with a clear and bright sky. What will happen is the sky will be over-exposed, or the landscape will be under-exposed. This is where HDR comes in. The idea is simple, however the process can be quite time consuming. What has to happen is instead of taking one capture, you would need to ideally take at least 3. One for the highs, one for the lows, and one with proper exposure. The most common method is to simply set your camera to bracketing mode with a 2EV difference in exposures. In most scenarios this will enable you to capture all ranges of detail.

I’ll explain how this is done in Photoshop, since its the most commonly used application. Once you’ve got your captures:

  1. Open them with the RAW editor, SELECT ALL, and click OPEN IMAGE(S)
  2. Next, FILE > AUTOMATE > MERGE TO HDR
  3. Click on ADD OPEN FILES and hit OK
  4. Now you should see a preview of your HDR image.
  5. You will want to change the BIT DEPTH to 16-Bit, and also adjust your white point if you need to on the histogram
  6. Click OK to convert
  7. In the new window, if you want to adjust the TONING CURVE AND HISTOGRAM, change the method to LOCAL ADAPTATION
  8. Adjust the THRESHOLD to how you see fit and then hit OK
  9. You’ve now successfully created an HDR image! From here you can go ahead and do other modifications to the image if you feel the need.

This was the perfect situation for using HDR, since photographing a dark subject will normally cause everything else to become over-exposed.

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Everyones got that dream car in mind, that one car they wish to someday have. Unfortunately for myself, I’m no different, except I decided to make mine realistic, this way I wont be disappointed when I’m 60. And yes, I may even sell my precious BB1 for it ! Take in the beauty:

Keep in mind that this is not in anyway a super car. Not that I dislike super cars, I would love to own one, but those beasts are way out of my league, and we all know that only the elite will be able to own one. The reason I’ve been so fixated on the Exige is purely because of the power/weight ratio. The interior is very minimal, only the bare essentials exist in exchange for weight savings. IE: Only the driver side has an electric window, the passenger side is roll down only. Extreme? Not at all. I mean how else could Lotus keep the cars weight to about 2000lbs?

The Exige comes in four trims, but I’ll be focusing on the s240 version, which is the second to last top model. The difference between the s240 and 260 (top level) is a difference of 17HP, but a difference in price of about $10,000. The s240 is powered by a supercharged DOHC motor pushing out 240HP. Sure it doesn’t sound like much, but keep in mind this is not a normal weighted vehicle, this is why the 0-60 was clocked at 4 SECONDS !!! Aside from all this, I would imagine the machine handles like a go-kart, which is exactly what I fiend for.

And to top it all off, the list price for the s240 is a mere $65,000. I’ve told many people about this machine, and most think I’m crazy to spend this amount on something so bare when there are so many other options, but to each their own. This is purely a driving machine; there are no luxuries in this car, so if you’re looking for a comfy, noiseless ride, go to Lexus, or BMW. The Exige is meant for another breed of enthusiast.

Here’s a list from Lotus with all of the other specifications:

CHASSIS
· Lotus Designed Lightweight Structure of Epoxy Bonded Aluminum Extrusions
· Integral Steel Seatbelt Support Structure and Lightweight Steel Rear Sub-Frame
EXTERIOR
· Composite Fiberglass Body
· LED Taillights with Integral Reflectors
· Daytime Running Lights
· Rear Diffuser
· Aerodynamic Bodywork for Increased Downforce Includes: Front Splitter, Sculpted Roof, Rear Wing, Diffuser and Side Air Intakes
· Body-Color Front Splitter, Side Scoops, and Rear Wing
· Black Mesh Front Brake Ducts, Radiator Outlet and Engine Bay Outlets
· Solid Paint – Ardent Red or British Racing Green
SUSPENSION
· Fully Independent Suspension with Unequal Length Wishbones
· Bilstein Mono-Tube Gas Damper, Eibach Coaxial Coil Spring
· Front Anti-Sway Bar
· 7 Twin-Spoke Forged Alloy Wheels in Matte Black
· Front Wheels/6J x 16 – 195/50R16
· Rear Wheels/7.5J x 17 – 225/45R17
· Yokohama Advan Neova A048 LTS Ultra Performance Tires
· 4-Wheel Ventilated/Cross-Dilled Disc Brakes
· Lotus/AP Racing & Brembo Calipers with Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
INTERIOR
· Sport Seats – Black Cloth with ProBax™ Anatomical Padding
· Air Conditioning, Starter Button, Tinted Glass and Carpet Foot Mats
· Airbags – Driver and Passenger (Passenger Airbag Cannot Be Deactivated)
· Factory Anti-Theft Alarm System with Engine Immobilizer and Remote Locking
· Aluminum Trim – Gear Knob and Handbrake Sleeve
· Interior Tailgate Release
· Leather-Trimmed Momo Steering Wheel
· Alpine 4-Speaker Stereo with In-Dash CD Player
· Intermittent Windshield Wiper

What is thought to be the succesor of the famouse F430 was spotted in Germany sporting a variety of aesthetic changes. Reports indicate that the new model will be equiped with a larger 4.5L V8 motor, hence ‘F450’. From the spy shots it was seen that the F450 has a longer wheel base, central exhaust outlet, as well as larger air inlets at either side of the machine.

Notice the more integrated diffuser and centered exhaust outlet.

Note the more integrated diffuser and centered exhaust outlet.

It is expected to boast a between a 550hp and 585hp powerplant, more than ample 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, and very possibly some sort of brake energy recovery system. The F450 will has also been engineered with a wider track, for both the front and rear end of the car, plus the addition of two more intake behind the rear windshield. On a side nore, Ferrari has mentioned that they are looking for other avenues of of developement, includeing hybrid and turbo charging technologies, as well as lighter methods of construction and improvements in aerodynamics.

The concept is scheduled for debut in 2010, at the Frankfurt Motor Show.