July 20, 2014

HDR Photography

Have you ever heard of HDR or High Dynamic Range photography? It’s the latest buzzword in photographic circles and if you’ve not heard of it, surely you’ve seen examples of it.

Basically, the photographer takes a range (get it!) of identical photographs, with the settings moving from under- to over-exposed. The shots are then merged to brighten the darks and darken the brights, bringing out details in the image that would otherwise been lost. Many cameras, including phone cameras now include the software to do HDR automatically, and if your camera doesn’t have it already, you can find an app, such as Pro HDR to take care of it for you.

I took a series of photographs on an overcast day with no shadows and flat light, to show you how this can improve your photographs. My iPhone 5 series takes two shots of the same image, with one being the regular settings and one being HRD.
 
In this image, you can see that the sky is more detailed, the flowers on the Crepe Myrtle really pop, the house in the background is brighter and the colours are not as flat.
IMG_1508 IMG_1509

In this image, the sky goes from white to cloudy, the stones on the house are not as mono-chromatic, the shades in the grass are more distinct and the tree on the left is a more realistic colour.

IMG_1524 IMG_1525

I had actually gone out to search for this house, which was completely surrounded by overgrown shrubbery and is now being sold. In this, you can see how having a little more detail in the sky really adds to the creepiness factor. The house is a little brighter, the details on the doors and the windows are cleared and you get more detail on the patio area on the left.

IMG_1531 IMG_1532

HDR is fun to play with and using the automatic settings, you will usually get a good result. However, there are loads of examples of bad HDR out there, where a photographer is tempted to tweak the image so that it looks unrealistic. imageA lot of times, you can’t exactly tell what’s wrong with the image, but your eye doesn’t think it looks right. It’s too detailed, too shimmery, too crisp, too unnatural, too too.image

Check and see if you have HDR on your camera and then play around with it and see if it improves your photography.

15 comments:

  1. Also check out www.99phototricks.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wrote a post about HDR last year because so many real estate agents put heavily HDR'ed images in listings n my area. Nothing makes a home look cheesy like over the top HDR.

    I use VSCO's iPhone app to gently tweak my photos. It works beautifully!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have heard of VSCO but I haven't downloaded it yet!

      Delete
  3. Wow could man kinds eyes evolved to or is it devovled --I mean no more hunting and gathering for the Average Joe, well I suppose those that follow this blog are Urban hunters and gatherers of a different kind--- but my point Has our eye sight changed over the eons ? Today, 21st century man's vision is not what made for evolutionary leaps? Maybe the camera sees things man once did be fore those genes were lost in the mix????? Early man did not wear glasses. I know he didn't have a camera either.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Meg, I agree it can be used to tweak an image beautifully or be used to an outlandish and unnatural degree, then the image just looks fake.

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena
    Europe: Simply Irresistible!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's creepy in some of the overdone images!

      Delete
  5. ha, HDR does for pictures what flowery speech does for a talk. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I can tell you from experience that the last photograph in your post of the Golden Gate Bridge looks so synthetic it could almost be a painting. Now I'm off toe check and see if this feature exists on my camera. Thanks for the great tip!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the sky looked like that when I was crossing a bridge, I wouldn't do it!

      Delete
  7. Meg,
    Great post and information. Thanks, Angela Muller

    ReplyDelete
  8. I know what you mean about it sometimes not looking "real". I like a good photo app though.
    Hope you're enjoying your summer Meg.
    Di
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for reading and commenting on Pigtown*Design. I read each and every comment and try to reply if I have your e-mail address.