Monday, September 14, 2009

The Benefits of HDR Photography

Many of you probably already know that I am really into HDR (High Dynamic Range) Photography. If you are just learning Photoshop and other photo editing programs and plug-ins, learning the technique of HDR will be well worth your time and effort....it will do amazing things with your photographs. I will admit that HDR is not for everyone...some do not like the surrealistic feeling, and others don't like the illustrative look it gives...but it is a great tool if used right, and I think it can turn an otherwise ordinary photo into something special...

For example, look at the photos below. The top photo is after I processed the photo as an HDR in a program called Photomatix, and then did other adjustments in Photoshop. The bottom photo is the untouched RAW photo from my camera (the middle exposure). In the old days, I probably would have tossed the photo...but processing the photo as an HDR, brings out all the detail in the shadow and highlight areas. Your digital camera actually captures all the detail, but with a single exposure, the detail is lost in the darkest and brightest areas of the photo. So, when I took this photo, I took 5 different exposures (using a tripod of course), and then, opening the different exposures in Photomatix blends the different exposures into one photograph that resembles more what your eye would see (high dymamic range)...

Give it a try yourself...you will be amazed!!


Here is the final version...notice the detail and colors that come out after processing...

This (below) is one of the exposures I took...I bracket the shots in aperture priority at -2, -1, 0 ,+1, +2...this is the "0" shot which properly exposed some of the photo, but the top part of the photo is blown out and the areas under the roof and bottom left are lost in the shadows. With the bracketed shots, the darker exposures takes care of the blown out top part of the photo, and the brighter exposures takes care of providing detail in the shadow areas. Photomatix blends these exposures into one photo bringing back all the detail I saw with my naked eye...


7 comments:

Multifaceted said...

You are soooo right!!

I love all your photos and have been a follower of your blog for a while, first time I comment.

The untouched photo would probably be something I myself would've thrown away. But the first one is pure art!

Greetings.

Country Girl said...

I'm going to have to google where I can get this program . . .

It's gorgeous.

Tricia said...

that's what I needed to do this correctly - the -2, -1, etc. I've only been using 2 shots to do HDR & they just don't turn out quite right, so I'll try it w/ more now. Thanks!

Lorac said...

As usual awesome! I like the look of the photoshop HDR. The result is really good.

sixstars said...

I love it a candy coloured shambles.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Scotty: I must admit that the original photo is more interesting to me.

Anonymous said...

Great photo, but how do you deal with the movement of the boy and lady whilst taking the multiple shots?