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03-05-2010, 07:37 PM   #1
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What do you think of HDR?

I find there are a lot of photographers that have strong opinions about HDR photography. I find that it is extremely creative and beautiful (when done correctly). But many others find it repulsive and consider it "not real" photography. Why is this?

A traditional photograph simply cannot capture the world the way the human eye sees it. An HDR photograph gets closer to the way we see the world as humans. In my opinion, to not accept HDR photography would be to not accept a computer over a typewriter. Give me some valid reasons you don't accept it...

note: I am prepared to be flamed.

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03-05-2010, 08:27 PM   #2
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I enjoy it and use it when I can. It can be a very heavy tool though. The trick is to know how much to apply it and when. When I started I went through my grunge phase. Like this:


Now I'm trying for more subtle applications of it:


Regardless, it is a valid technique and another way to see things in photography.

Love your treatment of the sky in your images. Very nice.

Last edited by blackcloudbrew; 03-05-2010 at 08:48 PM.
03-05-2010, 09:40 PM   #3
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I find it "uncanny" in the freudian sense. It is closer to realistic to not be interpreted as a photograph, but not realistic to be a real scene. I find that HDR is too heavy handed when you try to compress too much dynamic range into a medium with a lower dynamic range. It looks uncanny because monitors and printers are not capable of fully replicating the range that the eye can see.

In your terms, a photograph cannot capture what the eye can see, but print/displays cannot represent what the eye can see either. You are merely compressing what the eye can see into the range that the format can represent.

Not that I dislike HDR, but I am more impressed by someone who can use a limited range to focus the viewer. HDR is distracting if there is a subject that I'm supposed to focus on.
03-05-2010, 09:49 PM   #4
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I actually really like HDR. I think what you have there is terrific.
Might I ask what you are doing for post processing? If you don't want to tell the world, PM me, I won't tell anyone else.

03-05-2010, 10:10 PM   #5
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I like the "natural looking HDR", see this article for examples: HDR Plea
Post apocalytic HDR are amusing at first, then, it's just boring. My opinion.
03-05-2010, 10:22 PM   #6
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I use Lightroom and export to PhotomatrixPro mostly. It's fast an easy. I've also use ArtizenHDR in the past. Both have there pluses and minuses.
03-05-2010, 10:27 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zav Quote
I like the "natural looking HDR", see this article for examples: HDR Plea
Post apocalytic HDR are amusing at first, then, it's just boring. My opinion.
My thoughts exactly, except that I didn't have any taste for apocalyptic HDR from the beginning. It's cartoonish.
03-06-2010, 12:52 AM   #8
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HDR is like gay marriage. If you don't like it, then don't do it.

03-06-2010, 01:56 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by blackcloudbrew Quote
I enjoy it and use it when I can. It can be a very heavy tool though. The trick is to know how much to apply it and when. When I started I went through my grunge phase. Like this:
Same with me. Below was my first shot at HDR. It's heavily "grunged"


Then this is what I'm more inclined now.

Last edited by ducdao; 03-06-2010 at 05:17 AM. Reason: placing wide tags
03-06-2010, 02:33 AM   #10
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I think it depends on how far the HDR goes, heavily processed ones should be considered photomanipulation.
03-06-2010, 02:46 AM   #11
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Looking at tonemapped HDR images make me feel sick to the stomach. Valid enough? :P
03-06-2010, 06:28 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
HDR is like gay marriage. If you don't like it, then don't do it.
I don't think anybody here disputed one's 'right' to do HDR. For people who don't have a taste for heavy HDR, HDR simply is like anything they don't like. No moral judgment, only a matter of taste (maybe--who knows--also a judgment of taste).
03-06-2010, 03:29 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by causey Quote
For people who don't have a taste for heavy HDR, HDR simply is like anything they don't like. No moral judgment, only a matter of taste (maybe--who knows--also a judgment of taste).
QuoteOriginally posted by pasipasi Quote
Looking at tonemapped HDR images make me feel sick to the stomach. Valid enough? :P
There's always Pepto-Bismol. But I'll also suggest that it's a matter of presentation. Pictures look different on the screen than when printed, and prints look different bare than when mounted.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

An example: In Bisbee AZ is a certain young woman of supermodel-quality beauty and style -- let's call her Astra. She and I and friends were at a neighbor's house one chilly evening, chatting at the large kitchen table, variously sipping wine and water and tea. I snapped numerous badly-lit shots of everyone with my 5mpx Sony DSC-V1 in NightShot mode, IR at ISO 2500. A merry time was had by all.

I later PP'd everything in PaintShopPro9, absolutely necessary with NightShot stills (which otherwise look like sniperscope targets). RemoveColorCast; UnSharpMask; EnhanceColor; Smoothing; Clarify-Clarify-Clarify (sort of like noisy HDR); EnhanceColor some more; etc. The resultant colors are pastel, not primary. Some of the shots I rendered gray-sepia; these printed like pushed Tri-X on toned paper. Others printed well at 4x5".

Astra kept moving too constantly for 'good' exposures. My favorite shot of her was a mess, doing no credit to her complexion, profile, etc, only conveying posture and gesture. The shot is pixelated, smeary, lacking detail. I have an 8x10" glossy print in front of me now. It's lousy. But matted, glassed, framed, and hung, it's quite compelling -- and I've sold a dozen copies, not even to her friends.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I look about at other hanging prints. Too often, the photorealistic are boring, or look like they've been clipped from magazines. Those that stand out (positively) are posterish, even garish, with strong contrast and deepened tones. Many look crappy on a video monitor. They need to be hung to be appreciated. (Many photographers should probably be hanged also, but that's another subject.)

Context, context, context. I've seen too many HDR images I certainly won't want hanging on MY walls, either. But they'd be fine on CD and book covers, posters, t-shirts, product labels, dartboards, jigsaw puzzles, coffee cups, etc. Extreme imagery is GOOD, even necessary. I seem to recall a country preacher rendering a certain biblical text as, "You either got to blow hot, or you got to blow cold, or the good lord will SPEW you from the corner of his mouth!" Don't be a wuss. Be extreme.

Last edited by RioRico; 03-06-2010 at 04:00 PM.
03-06-2010, 06:28 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
There's always Pepto-Bismol. But I'll also suggest that it's a matter of presentation. Pictures look different on the screen than when printed, and prints look different bare than when mounted.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

An example: In Bisbee AZ is a certain young woman of supermodel-quality beauty and style -- let's call her Astra. She and I and friends were at a neighbor's house one chilly evening, chatting at the large kitchen table, variously sipping wine and water and tea. I snapped numerous badly-lit shots of everyone with my 5mpx Sony DSC-V1 in NightShot mode, IR at ISO 2500. A merry time was had by all.

I later PP'd everything in PaintShopPro9, absolutely necessary with NightShot stills (which otherwise look like sniperscope targets). RemoveColorCast; UnSharpMask; EnhanceColor; Smoothing; Clarify-Clarify-Clarify (sort of like noisy HDR); EnhanceColor some more; etc. The resultant colors are pastel, not primary. Some of the shots I rendered gray-sepia; these printed like pushed Tri-X on toned paper. Others printed well at 4x5".

Astra kept moving too constantly for 'good' exposures. My favorite shot of her was a mess, doing no credit to her complexion, profile, etc, only conveying posture and gesture. The shot is pixelated, smeary, lacking detail. I have an 8x10" glossy print in front of me now. It's lousy. But matted, glassed, framed, and hung, it's quite compelling -- and I've sold a dozen copies, not even to her friends.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I look about at other hanging prints. Too often, the photorealistic are boring, or look like they've been clipped from magazines. Those that stand out (positively) are posterish, even garish, with strong contrast and deepened tones. Many look crappy on a video monitor. They need to be hung to be appreciated. (Many photographers should probably be hanged also, but that's another subject.)

Context, context, context. I've seen too many HDR images I certainly won't want hanging on MY walls, either. But they'd be fine on CD and book covers, posters, t-shirts, product labels, dartboards, jigsaw puzzles, coffee cups, etc. Extreme imagery is GOOD, even necessary. I seem to recall a country preacher rendering a certain biblical text as, "You either got to blow hot, or you got to blow cold, or the good lord will SPEW you from the corner of his mouth!" Don't be a wuss. Be extreme.
love your uses of sarcasm.

BTW, i love the OP's pics too, and I'm not gay...
03-07-2010, 02:55 AM   #15
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i like subtle applications of it, but find with the kx's dynamic range its hardly ever needed.

the grunge use of it is revolting and like when lens flare was a new filter to photoshop :P
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