My HDR Photography Style
Most of my photos are HDR because I believe this approach provides greater opportunities to produce creative, inspiring and innovative works of art. It provides the photographer with a powerful tool to produce images that create a deeper engagement with people. I tend to prefer intense, dramatic and colourful images that can provoke a strong reaction from people. This means that some people will probably love and be thrilled by this kind of photos while others will hate it. I believe life should be lived with intensity therefore I aim to express this passion in my photos.
What is HDR?
HDR stands for high dynamic range photography. Simply speaking it is a photography technique to help in capturing more light in a scene. This is particularly noticeable when we are in situations with bright sunlight or when we are inside buildings and have a strong light coming in from windows. In these situations, the dynamic range of the image exceeds the cameras abilities and therefore one can only expose either for the shadows (the dark part of the picture) or for the highlights (the bright part of the picture), meaning that it is not possible to have a good balanced exposure of the scene. This might be what one envisions in certain occasions but most often it is just a by-product of the camera’s inability to deal with the light situation.
Given that our eyes have a greater dynamic range we can see things that it is not possible to reproduce in a camera using traditional photography. Therefore, an HDR image helps to approximate the final image to what we really see. Obviously, as with every technique it is possible to take several approaches and exacerbate the effect and make the picture more intense and in certain cases more artistic. Certain photographers don’t like this intense processing approach but I believe it is just another form of art. In fact, with the increasingly fast advancement of technologies we will see more “digital” art emerging and taking the place (not completely off course) of the more traditional artistic approaches such as painting.
How to do an HDR Photo?
The main thing to do an HDR photo is to produce 3, 5 or 7 exposures of the same image. All the images will have different exposures, meaning that some photos will be darker and others lighter. This approach allows the photographer to expose correctly for the different parts of a scene. This means that when shooting directly to the sun, the darker exposures will help to expose the sun correctly while the lighter exposures will help to exposure the darker areas of the scene which otherwise would be completely dark in traditional photography. For example, if one takes 3 exposures, one will be darker (underexposed), one will be correctly exposed (neutral) and the other will be brighter (overexposed).
After this one will process these photos using software such as Photomatix to put these exposures together and use the best parts of each exposure to produce a well-balanced image that is able to show correctly the shadows and highlights of a scene. After processing the files with Photomatix one can bring the file into photo editing software (e.g. such as Photoshop) to continue the artistic process of producing an image. It is very exciting process as each new photo is an opportunity to produce a new piece of art…