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