Subscribe to
NSLog(); Header Image

My First HDR Shot

This is simply an experiment, but one I'd call relatively successful. I took three exposures of the local Outback near my house. The scene has a wide range of light and dark tones, and thus was suitable for an HDR technique. The three images (+/- 2 stops) are included along the top row.

HDR Outback

I picked up a copy of Photomatix earlier today, and it was used to create the image. I tweaked it in Photomatix's Tone Mapping but didn't spend any time in Photoshop as recommended by the well-known and well-linked HDR Tutorial at Stuck in Customs.

That author of the tutorial says that HDR "helps to evoke my actual memory of the scene." I don't personally agree with that. I think that HDR shots tend to come out looking far more "artistic" rather than simply factual. I don't dislike or like HDR for that effect, but calling shots like these "actual" strikes me as a bit of a stretch. HDR, many seem to forget, can be used for far more subtle effects, like those seen here and here.

Obviously I'm far too new to HDR to really guess where my future in HDR lies… but I'm definitely leaning towards using it more like the latter two links than the first.

3 Responses to "My First HDR Shot"

  1. I've been looking in to taking HDR photos myself. But as I like taking "live action" shots (mostly of the kiddos), I haven't quite figured out how to take three (or more) different pictures of the same scene.

    This was the product I was looking in to:

    Funny how the price was much lower, until getting a mention on TUAW...

  2. [quote comment="46140"]This was the product I was looking in to:

    I gave that a try with the same shots used above and I'm unimpressed. Not only is the UI and control worse than Photomatix (which itself doesn't have the greatest UI, but which at least doesn't show you some bizarre 3D view of your image) but the final result is nowhere near as good.

    For the live action stuff, if you shoot RAW (as I think almost every semi-serious photographer should), you can process a single RAW file two times - one for highlights and another for shadows - within Photomatix and pull out a semi-HDR image. Worth a shot.

  3. Hey there 🙂 dropping by via Technorati after searching for HDR over there. A very awesome debut HDR for you, mine was a complete disaster, heh. I think what makes some HDR too far away from the real thing (thus unable to evoke actual memory of the scene) is because the creator did not use extensive light smoothing to make transitions between light and dark areas less obvious, thus the very weird effect of having halos around dark objects.

    I've tried Photomatix for my first HDR, and I got so impressed by the results (as compared to that of Photoshop CS2), I immediately purchased the software :mrgreen: seriously, Photomatix is definitely one of the best programmes available to merge photos into HDRs.

    Thanks for sharing the links, anyway!