HDR in a Nutshell

Outside the Portfolio

No, I meant LITERALLY…..IN a nutshell

     HDR (High Dynamic Range) is a photo process that has gained considerable popularity in digital photography. If, by chance, you Googled ‘HDR photography’ and arrived here looking for some ‘secret’ techniques, I apologize for the ‘deception’.

This is NOT an HDR tutorial.

     If you want that, you need to go to Trey Ratcliff’s site  www.stuckincustoms.com , or, check out Flickr at  www.flickr.com and enter HDR in the search box to see many examples of how this technique is being used.

     But if you were drawn here by the letters ‘HDR’, you are most likely already familiar with those sites. If the ‘term’ is new to you, treat yourself to some outstanding work, enjoyable by anyone, photographer or not!

     There seems to be an ongoing debate about the ‘validity’ of HDR processing. Some hold the notion that it’s not ‘natural’ or ‘pure’. I think Trey gave the definitive argument against that thinking when he said, in a Scott Kelby blog at www.scottkelby.com/blog/2009/archives/7492

     “Oh yeah, you don’t like HDR because it’s not realistic? Right… But you do like black and white, right? Oh, that’s realistic. The world is all black and white and grey after all.”

     To me, it would be akin to telling George Martin, in 1968, that he shouldn’t use that ‘new-fangled’ Moog synthesizer on The Beatles’ Abbey Road album because it was not ‘natural’! I’m sure he DID hear that from someone.

     Do some people argue about what they don’t understand, or are some just argumentative, no matter what? (Sorry, hypothetical pondering)

     Go look at the beautiful images that Trey Ratcliff and others have created. I’m just ‘playing around’ with it, so far….but playing is so much fun.

     About the picture….This is one of those photos that were I to see it somewhere, I would probably ask, ” Why did they shoot that?”…

       Now,  I know that sometimes there is no concrete answer. I bought a bag of English walnuts, cut a hole in one shell, installed a small flashlight in the bottom so that the light would come through the ‘jewel’, and with the Photomatix HDR software and PhotoShop, came up with the finished product.


     But it DID provide me with a catchy blog-post title, didn’t it?

~ by rkpowers on March 29, 2010.

One Response to “HDR in a Nutshell”

  1. Is the jewel featured here an aquamarine or a blue topaz? Very nice photo.


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