Simplify HDR Photography

Do you like photos looking surrealistic or realistic, but with a greater range of light?  What about that popular grunge artistic look we are seeing online and in many magazines?  At the end of the day, it’s all HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography.

What is HDR photography?  Simply, the process of taking the same composed photo multiple times, but with different exposures, to give you a greater range of light between the lightest and darkest areas of a photo.  Then using one of many HDR programs, merging them together, also called tone mapping.  All of these HDR programs have a number of presets that will give you the different effects.  It’s knowing how adjust and manipulate the settings and presets where the creativity takes off.

Shot at Bodie State Park, I took three photos with one shot over exposed +2 stops/one balanced/one -2 stops.  I wanted to keep this somewhat realistic, but bring out the details in the rust.

On a rainy day at Muir Woods National Monument, and my trusty fisheye lens, the five photos I used for this one gave me a better range of light in a very dark forest.  The wet trees and moss certainly helped the photo.

Shot in a bunker-ish structure in Albany, I needed the high dynamic range of light just to balance the brightness of the stairwell and how dark the bunker was.  I also wanted to exaggerate the graffiti for effect.

Going for total art in this one.  I wanted extreme contrast in his face and shirt, but used less of a surrealistic effect in the framing.  Thanks Mike for being a great model!!


Introduction to HDR Photography

  • 1st meeting: Sat, Feb 11th; 3pm-5pm @ Stanford University
  • 2nd meeting Thurs, Feb 16th 6:30pm-8:30pm @ Fun With Media
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