Life, Learning and the Photos taken in between.

Exploring HDR

While on my quest of Photography knowledge, I came across a very dynamic yet artsy photo via google.  The photo caught my interest so I did a little more research into the development of such an image.  The image was called a HDR image and for those who do not know what HDR is, I will explain it to you.  HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and an HDR image consist of multiple images of different exposures rendered into one image.  Here is  a link of some amazing HDR photos. http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/03/10/35-fantastic-hdr-pictures

So now that you have a brief understanding and visualization of a HDR image, it’s time for me to go in and contribute my 2 cents on HDR.  Now I am not a ” Professional Photographer”, my knowledge come from 40% google and youtube, 60% daily shooting and 10% from the talented photographers that I come across. With that being said, my word is not the bible on these topics. Simply a understanding of the steps i took towards development and my opinion.

Items you may need to take a Sweet HDR image.

The way I see things in life is “it’s all about the preparation”. It’s easier to complete any task if you prepare for it in advance..well in most cases. So my checklist for HDR.

  1. A tripod or Mono-pod and remote. The reason why I suggest these items are because you are taking multiple shots of the same image. Any slight movement with affect the outcome of the final product. While the tripod or mono pod will prevent any camera shake, the remote will prevent any movement that your hand will cause during the actual shutter release.  So if you have shaky hands like myself, I suggest you get a tripod.
  2. Set your exposure bracketing in your camera. I set my exposure bracketing on my Nikon D90 as the following 2 under – normal – 2 over. What do I mean by that you ask, well in bracketing mode your camera will take a series of photos with different exposures. I chose the 1st to be 2 stops under exposed then normal then 2 stops over exposed. Once again, I am not the HDR GURU so feel free to go about it your own way.
  3. Download HDR software to process your image, my software of choice is Photomatix by HDRsoft. I edit all my photos with Adobe Lightroom 3 and what’s pretty sweet about Photomatix is that it has a Plug-in just for light room which allows me to complete the editing process right in lightroom after its been rendered in Photomatix.
  4. Twizzlers…..I just really like Twizzlers, don’t judge me.

Now these two images were taken on Monday night just to test out my 10.5mm fish eye and also the bracketing under low light using only ambient lighting (natural light). These are my 1st and only 2 HDR images and they hold no comparison to those in the link above but gimme 2 weeks and I’ll have a better understanding of HDR and Photomatix.

The fish eye was able to capture everything in the room from a very close distance.  The overall image looks really wacky and to me gives a mixture of reality with a touch of fictional presence. Once again this image is a compilation of  3 different photos each taken at a different exposure

So finally my overall take on HDR and Photomatix, as a Photographer I appreciate all forms of art and photography. The work that’s put in to making these photos are not a walk in the park. Photomatix is has a very user-friendly layout that will get you started on your HDR and the final steps are up to you to correct in lightroom or photoshop. I am more of a fan of traditional photography rather than HDR images. I do not see myself doing much HDR work, however I will dedicate some time to learning this method of photo rendering and development. I believe a well-rounded photographer is a more successful photographer but that’s always up for argument. I hope I didn’t ramble on too much and you got a brief understanding on what it takes to Create a HDR image. I will write-up another blog in the near future on HDR  once I have a little more experience in the development. A project that I’m looking forward to working on would be shooting vintage style pin-up models under a studio setting. If any of you who read this have a interest in getting pin-up style photos then shoot me an email s.nievesphotography@gmail.com so we can set up a shoot that I can blog about.

Before I sign out I want to thank everyone who stops in to read my blogs and also to those who leave feed back. This week alone I have reached 1000 hits and its only Wednesday.

Until next time…..

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One response

  1. Lali

    I really like the pictures!! Especially the 2nd one with the Christmas tree! The tree seems somewhat unreal even. Once again, nice job!

    December 1, 2010 at 9:35 pm

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