Friday, December 31, 2010

To HDR or Not to HDR?

I think this is my favorite one of the sunsets from last week.  The first one is just a little increased contrast in the post and some deeper blacks.  Then I figured, I need to see what it looks like in HDR (image 3).  And image two is just a composite of 1 and 3 -- a middle ground if you will.  In the end, image 1 is still my favorite, which makes me smile to know that HDR didn't win this one.

Oh, for those who don't know what HDR is, it stands for high dynamic range.  In short, it is a composite of three or more images of the same shot at different exposures (e.g. -1, 0, +1.  In other words, a little too dark, perfect, a little too light).  Then it compresses that greater range of light all into one image to get the effect you see above in image 3.

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of the arguments about whether photography had any artistic legitimacy from the early and mid-20th century. If Ansel Adams didn't make the case for "artistic" photography, your examples and HDR certainly do.

    While I never resisted all kinds of darkroom chicanery to make a photograph look like my mental image, I still prefer to see images straight out of the camera if possible. I, too, like the first one best.