Almost everyone has something to “show off” or say about HDR (High Dynamic Range) photos. Well, I am like everyone else in that I have played with HDR photos, using it and many other techniques to draw out the beauty of each photo’s subject. However, I can not say that I am completely enamored with HDRs more than any other technique.
So why write about HDRs on your blog if you do not like them more than other techniques, right? Ah, well that is the beauty of appreciating each tool that is at our disposal without over playing any one of them!
Please do not misunderstand my position. I like HDR photos, but I do not want the HDR technique to be so commonly used that it is no more amazing than any ordinary thing! A lot of things should be used in moderation. For example, would you add a tablespoon of salt to your bowl of soup? No! Salt is best used in moderate amounts, often spoken of by saying “add salt to taste.” It is this same principle by which I wish to use the HDR technique.
HDR photos can be used in several ways. Again, I do not wish to disparage the use of HDR or call it “cheating”, because many things are required in shooting HDR. Just a few examples are:
- An in-depth knowledge of lighting.
- Vast experience in camera handling.
- Pointed expertise with image editing.
- Measured speed and timing of the shutter releases.
- Knowledge of how your camera sees the scene.
- Specific settings for each captured image.
So in no way is it cheating! Certainly some who may speak less of shooting High Dynamic Range photos would be correct to say it is not worth the effort because their ‘niche’ does not cater to the technique. Since I am a “minimalist” photographer, I love HDR for the fact that I can get 3+ photos, edit them together and “voila!” the photo has all of the detail we can naturally see!
Yes, I know that there are good reasons to use flashes and studio strobes; but why, with so many other techniques at my disposal, would I sacrifice the artistic ambiance for using flashes? It seems to me, to use such logic would be the same as saying “I cut my nose off because I run into the stone pillar.” Well okay, Cyrano, but I would rather utilize all of my standard equipment than remove it because I tried to make it occupy the same space as a solid mass!
One other use of an HDR is to draw out the color of the scene creating a “wow” factor unsurpassed in any form of natural art I have ever seen. I have mainly seen the HDR used in this way for landscapes, seascapes and city scenes.
Thank you for reading!