Smitty - November 15, 2016
A New Way of Seeing
HDR photography will inspire you to develop a new way of seeing. Once you realize what can be done to enhance a captured scene’s dynamic range, you’ll begin to see the light differently when you are looking through your camera’s viewfinder. You’ll be able to better envision the end-result of your work.
On the opposite page, take a look at the image of Mt. Rainier. I envisioned this scene in my mind’s eye while I shot the series of pictures needed to create that image (below). In this example, three pictures were needed to capture the dynamic range of the scene, while five pictures were required for my old house image on the previous page. You’ll learn about this stuff soon.
Don’t Overdo It
One of the most important things to remember about HDR photography is that not every image or scene is made for HDR. In fact, some images look worse with this effect. My advice is not to overdo it; don’t try to make every photograph an HDR image.
On this page, you see my original photograph, taken in Venice during Carnevale, on the left and the HDR image on the right. The HDR image shows an expanded dynamic range, but revealing the details in the shadows makes the image look flat.
On the right side of this spread is my Photoshop-enhanced image. It’s cropped to add impact. Try cropping your pictures. You may be surprised to find pictures within a picture. Watch for other examples in this book of ways to enhance a photograph by cropping.
The drop shadow on my Photoshop-enhanced image was created by using the Drop Shadow Layer Style. Most of the pictures in this book were shot specifically for this project. This means that I took specific series of pictures to be processed with HDR software. And that required toting a tripod around and actually taking my time while shooting, which was an interesting experience for this “shoot and scoot” photographer.
However, I also created some HDR images from several old JPEG images, including the 2001 photograph above on the right. The picture on the opposite page is enhanced with one of the Grunge frames. It’s available in PhotoFrame 4 Professional.
Read on to learn how to create HDR images . . . even from old JPEGs, and get a look at more digital frames. What fun!
The Impact of Subject
You’ll find all the information you need to make nice HDR images in this book. And that’s a good thing. But never underestimate the importance of a good subject. It’s something I’ll say more than once.
Search out interesting subjects wherever you are, including your own neighborhood. It’s also fun to travel to get inspired. I took the picture on this page in Washington State, and I shot the picture on the opposite page in St. Augustine, Florida.