High Dynamic Range

I’m still coming to grips with HDR photography. The jury’s out. I don’t know if I like it or not. The surreal, hyper-colours of a lot of HDR photography doesn’t do much for me. My preference is for subtlety, uncertaintly as to whether I am actually viewing a HDR image or not. 

However, I do find myself responding in a positive fashion to a lot of black and white HDR that I see on Flickr. There’s something about seeing the tonal range without the distraction of colour to mask it.

That’s convinced me to have a go at it. A bit of a dabble. The first trick I learned was to use the continuous shooting mode of my camera. That minimises movement between shots which can produce a ‘ghostly’ effect on the final image. The second trick is to know how wide to bracket the exposure between shots. I’m guessing that that skill comes with practice. Or maybe I’m just hoping….

I downloaded a trial version of Photomatix and went out and played with my camera. This was my first attempt using the picturesque Richmond Bridge, the oldest bridge in Australia.

Image

I hadn’t wised up to the continuous shooting mode yet, so the image is a little soft. But I was happy with how the HDR image looked in black and white. Enough to try it again using the full version of Photomatix. So here are a few more attempts.

The tonal mapping of the wool bale image was heading in the surreal direction. But it brought out the tones of the wooden floor and wall beautifully. I also liked the texture of the wool bale. There’s something a little ‘painterly’ about this image. In colour I imagine it would look awful, but black and white, once again, rocks my boat!

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One thought on “High Dynamic Range

  1. I think the jury is still out on HDR photography in terms of its long term growth. I agree, it is interesting on a certain level but it probably has a certain ceiling that will be tough to break through. Regardless, I really like it in B/W. Great captures!

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