The Truth About HDR Photography

The Liver Buildings

I invite you to vote, share, post, reblog and get as many people as you can to vote on this poll. HDR used to be a hated technique, only remembered for it’s garish colours and halos. However it is much more than that now, it is gathering pace as a largely recognisable technique and I would love everyone’s honest opinions on HDR Photography.

So please, vote, then share with as many people as you can, any social media or even your own followers.

Lets find out what everyone really thinks…

24 thoughts on “The Truth About HDR Photography

      1. No, that’s not right.

        Read what I said, then read what you replied, and you’ll see that those in your reply do not state whether the person uses, has used or tried hdr; or whether they have no experience at all in creating it, they just like (or don’t like) viewing it.

        It really is a terribly constructed survey, not in the least because of this bias towards the assumption that anyone who has created it automatically likes it, and it’s only the people who have never created it who may or may not like it.


      2. Not a problem it is easily edited, what answers do you feel would make this survey less biased?


        Also, the poll is not about if you have used it or not, I am after the general opinion of it. A lot of people that either like or dislike HDR have never tried it.


  1. I also enjoy HDR, and use it occasionally. There are a few HDR programs these days that can do wonders to a photograph. Granted there are still many that are over-done, but I think the majority of photographers who use this technique do it really well.


  2. I have re-blogged this to my blog to get some opinions. My own personal opinions are I would use it if I could get it right, I explained this to Mike Hardisty, it is either to much or to little, I can never find the right style, but I am not giving in.
    I have used to enhance stonework in buildings that come out looking a tad drab, I have not posted any HDR that I have experimented on, not yet.


  3. I have seen some great and some terrible HDR shots. I have not yet tried to do it – it looks complicated…but one day would like to give it a go.
    BTW…i think your poll is just fine. ;)


  4. I voted. And no, I probably will never use this technique. I only know a few steps in photshop so I can’t see learning this if I can’t even use photoshop. But, I like other people using this to enhance their photos.


  5. The first time I laid eyes on artistic looking HDR shots over three years ago, my jaw simply dropped. I had never seen images that look like surreal, oil paintings or photo art. Scenery and buildings appeared vastly different than the conventional photographs I had been accustomed to for decades.

    It was only after reading a couple of online tutorials that I understood the whole process flow of making HDR images. The basic idea is to expand the limited dynamic range of camera sensors compared to the human eye using multiple images of different exposure levels, tone mapping and merging them into a composite image.

    I did a couple of HDR stuff myself with my EOS 450D and Canon G11 cameras and even tone mapped single exposure landscape pics that I had taken with my previous old PowerShot A620 compact. For multiple exposure shots, I only used three exposures with the camera’s AE bracketing feature although some folks use five or even seven exposures. Only tripod mounted shots looked best as hand-held multi-exposures often resulted in minor variations in the compositions which had to be painstakingly re-aligned using the HDR software.

    Multi-exposure HDR composites also should not have moving subjects in the image – even lightly swaying tree branches in the wind will show up as ghosting effects.

    HDR later become a passing fad for me and I grew tired of viewing over-cooked concoctions on Flickr. Many of them are very obviously HDR and I could tell them at a glance; including the image at the beginning of this article. In real life, lighting, colors and textures don’t look even like that to the human eye.

    However I do like HDR images done with a subtle, light touch that if the photo owner didn’t reveal it was HDR, I wouldn’t have known it was one.


  6. HDR is a balanced photo – as a camera is only an averaging device – HDR is the balance of highlight and shadow i.e. shadows yielding detail and highlights not blown out. This balance can be attained in-camera (no post-processing) which is rare; or after post-processing using an image-manipulation program of some kind. When HDR first arrived on the scene it was grungy, sooty and grimy; people seemed to revel in the grey and gritty veneer given to everything. In fact, the instant response to any such photo these days is “it must be HDR!” But glad to say, HDR has found its feet, and subtlety has become its watchword: HDR has for too long been an excuse to go way OTT! Now that the jejune art of HDR has grown and matured a tad, certain looks can be classified as divisions of HDR, as for example Extreme HDR (that all-too-sooty-and-grimy look). UrBex – where detail and darkness go together hand in hand (its all about mood, and that mood is pathos and nostalgia). Balanced HDR – which respects the deficiencies of the camera, and assays the attempt to do outside of the camera “that which the camera is itself incapable of” (as yet) – which to say seek detail in the shadows, and brighten them enough to demonstrate this detail, and to tone-down blown out highlights – again to rescue some detail. Arty HDR is anything you want it to be, yet it seeks and attains some kind of shadow and highlight balance.


  7. You actually make it appear really easy along with your presentation however
    I in finding this topic to be really one thing that I believe I would never understand.

    It seems too complicated and very huge for me. I’m looking forward
    on your next put up, I will attempt to get the cling of it!


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