Wikipedia’s simple definition of HDR ( High Dynamic Range ) is a range of techniques geared toward representing more contrast in pictures, which is exactly what it is. The way you go about creating these are entirely up to you. In 2005, Photoshop introduced the Merge to HDR function, which allows you to merge 3 or more exposures into one photo, which then you can adjust the dynamic range on. Another way, is to “cheat” it by using a single image, and with various layers and such, photoshopping the hell out of it. This article isn’t about how to achieve either. There are tons of online tutorials on how to do that. This is when to use HDR piece. Sorry to disappoint you.
I’m fairly new to HDR photography, and in all honesty, i’ve only actually created two HDR photos, so far ( I think they turned out ok, but you be the judge ). HDR is a process that you really see a lot now online, and especially in travel and landscape photography. Doing it right, can make an image absolutely stunning. Doing it poorly, well, you’ll see.
THE GOOD (actually, the great)
If you’re a fan of travel photography, there is a very good chance you’re a fan of Trey Ratcliff. The man behind the brilliant site Stuck in Customs is spectacular at HDR. His photos instantly pop of any screen. Here are some of his shot that will BLOW YOUR MIND!
Check out more of Trey Ratcliffs amazing work at stuckincustoms.com.
The Bad (really really bad)
Of course, with every great HDR shot, at least 3 are published online that are very, well, bad. I won’t name names, or websites, but a simple Google search for bad hdr will bring up tons of the bad. Here’s a few.
I’m not gonna lie when I say that I was not a huge fan of HDR, until I saw more and more amazing HDR work coming from photographers like Trey Ratcliff, David Nightingale, and Ken Kaminesky. I’ve come to accept it now, and actually enjoy HDR, when done right.
So when I was recently out in the South Western United States shooting, I made an attempt to somewhat imitate these guys, and give HDR a chance. Thoughts?
Remember, leave your thoughts in the comments