About HDR

There are a lot of HDR’s floating around the Internet and the technique has rocketed in popularity over the past few years. Of course, with any new trend you are going to have some good images and some well, let’s just say not so good. However, for every bad HDR there is a fantastic one and the Internet is certainly not short of amazingly talented HDR photographers from around the globe.

Want to learn how to make these fantastical and amazing images? Then you’re in the wrong place! Head on over to my HDR Tutorial now to get started.

So what is HDR?

HDR is an acronym for High Dynamic Range. It is a processing technique which takes a series of photographs at different exposures and combines them to reveal hidden details in the frame that any normal camera, or lens would not be able to pick up with a single exposure or camera setting. Did you know that many video games use a technique called High Dynamic Range Rendering which uses light calculations to preserve details that may be lost due to limiting contrast ratios, which is the exact same technique that photographers use when creating HDR’s.

You might be wondering just why on earth I’m talking about computer games on a photography website. Well the answer is quite simple, both computer games designers and photographers are driven by a desire to create landscapes that accurately portray the scene as the human eye sees them.

The human eye can perceive scenes with a very high dynamic contrast, around 1,000,000:1 to be exact!  This is insanely higher than the static range achievable by most displays which is why HDR is important as it helps create a photograph that more accurately represents the scene as your eyes see it.

I want in!

If you like what you see on my website and want to be a part of it, getting involved is easy. The photographic community is one of the most friendly I’ve ever been a part of, and most will be willing to answer any questions you might have! You don’t really need a super expensive DSLR just any camera that is capable of shooting in RAW, you can find a full run down of recommended gear on my beginners guide page. Got a camera that can exposure bracket? Then head on over to my HDR Tutorial to begin your journey. If you’re camera isn’t capable of shooting exposure brackets but can shoot RAW then you might be interested in my Pseudo HDR Tutorial instead.

If you aren’t sure if your camera can shoot in RAW format then check out my List of  Cameras capable of shooting RAW page now :)

Beginners Checklist

  • A Digital Camera (Preferably a Digital SLR) that can take Multiple Exposures
  • A Tripod (Unless you have the steady hands of a bomb disposal veteran)
  • A Remote (I’m quite heavy handed and sometimes even pressing the shutter release can cause the camera to vibrate)
  • Photomatix Pro
  • Photoshop  or Equivalent editing software.
  • Additional software such as Topaz Adjust or Noiseware Proffessional (not compulsory but handy to have)

Examples of HDR

Further Reading

Other Tutorials

Stuck In Customs High Dynamic Range Tutorial – by artist Trey Ratclif
HDR Best Practices – by Brian Matiash
Vanilla Days High Dynamic Range Tutorial – By Pete Carr

Video Tutorials

Secrets of Amazing High Dynamic Range Photography – by Revision3
HDR Tutorial
– by MichaelEricBrown

Books

A World in HDR – by Trey Ratcliff (£15.49 on Amazon)
Practical HDR – by David Nightingale (£10.00 on Amazon)
Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Digital Photography – by Ferrell McCollough (£8.86 on Amazon)

Good luck on your new adventure!