to HDR or not to HDR that is the question

When I first heard about HDR I was like, "ug. sounds too complicated", when in fact it's easy. Super easy. Just need to know how to work your camera and get a sturdy tripod. If you haven't heard it's all the rage, its the popular creative go to.

When done well it's done really well, when done bad...well it's over done. (see below)

HDR, if you haven't heard stands for high dynamic range imaging.

According to Smashing Magazine "Applied carefully, High Dynamic Range-technique (HDR) can create incredibly beautiful pictures which blur our sense of the difference between reality and illusion. In graphics HDR imaging is a set of techniques that allow a far greater dynamic range of exposures than normal digital imaging techniques. The intention is to accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to the deepest shadows. This is usually achieved by modifying photos with image processing software for tone-mapping. And the results can be really incredible; in fact, many artists and designers come up with some pretty fancy results."

Some of the examples they posted looked like this saying these were good examples:



Go to Smashing to see more..I liked the first one. Because it doesn't really look like your typical HDR which according to this website is bad.  Interesting the same photo was in Smashings best. Apparently some people really have a stronger opinion on HDR then I.

Another interesting take on HDR was from Photoshelter, which if you read alot of different photographers give their opinion on the HDR phenomenon. 

Of course you could pay for the many programs that offer you a better HDR, for a low low cost of  ___ (fill in the blank)!!!  Such programs are Photomatix Pro and Photomatix Essentials are stand-alone programs running on Windows and Mac OS X. Price range from $40 and up for programs addons etc. ORRR you can do like me & go to Photoshop. 

I found this great tutorial online, and this is what I did...

 

I don't know, I'm still not sold on HDR. 

On Photoshelter, Jim Goldstein wrote "While I respect the work of many well known HDR photographers, to my eye the most popular form of HDRI is garish and jarring.  In many regards the technique eclipses subject and at that point it becomes gimmicky. Expanding dynamic range is important to be able to accomplish, but many photographers confuse how we see with how we create images. The myth that HDR reproduces a scene as we see it is a misnomer. If anything its a very cheap attempt. Our brains piece together numerous components of our world into a cognitively constructed mental image. Our eye does not capture a scene before us like a camera."

preach it! I'm still not sold.

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