Photography / Stuff / Travel

HDR – a clearer picture (sometimes)

For the uninitiated: HDR stands for high dynamic range. It refers to a technique of photography where 3, 5 or 7 images are shot successively at different exposures and merged together. The result is an image that captures a lot more color and detail than a normal picture. (Here’s a link to that section of my website.)

HDR photography requires a tripod, although it is possible to shoot handheld if you’re careful in well lit conditions. It’s a technique that’s ideal for shooting high-contrast situations (with lots of dynamic range).

My sister is one of a dwindling number of people who insist that HDR amounts to cheating. Needless to say I disagree, but I do understand the argument.

The problem with some HDR photos is that they look fake. During the toning process, the photographer adjusts a number of variables like saturation and contrast. “Fake” HDRs are often too saturated, or a combination of other settings make for something unusual. Sometimes, that might be the desired effect – fake or not.

The images below show the variety of outcomes possible with high dynamic range photography. I shot all of them with Canon dSLRs. Like many new cameras nowadays, my 5D has a built in HDR mode. I’ve never tried it out, but I will at some point. In the near future, I wouldn’t even be surprised if some optimized version of HDR becomes the new standard for digital photography.


Lamar Sunset

Grand Fog On

Snow Bark

Miami Gold

Playa Pier

Closing Wave

Golden Pool

Empire State

NY Parking

2 thoughts on “HDR – a clearer picture (sometimes)

  1. Pingback: Cherry blossoms – part 1 of 4 (X-Pro1) | Karim Haddad

  2. Pingback: Cherry blossoms – part 4 of 4 (HDR) | Karim Haddad

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