AustralianLight - Landscape Photography AustralianLight - Landscape Photography

AustralianLight - Landscape Photography is my new site with my good mate Bernie. If you have found my blog posts useful over the years, then how about giving us a hand to promote AustralianLight.

We are doing everything we can to get our australian landscape photography out there and guess what..... it's bloody hard work!! So please visit the gallery and if you like what see, share it with your friends.

Thanks, we really do appreciate your help. - Russell

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Rusty's Ramble #6: PLEASE, Enough bad HDR!

Arrrrgh! I am so over the bad use of HDR.

HDR stands for "High Dynamic Range" and is a method of combining multiple "different" exposures into one image. The aim of this is to provide a more even exposure across the image... eg: no "extremely" dark shadows that display no detail, no "completely" blown highlights that display no detail and a smooth transition of colour & tonal values in between.

HDR does NOT stand for "Highly Distorted Rubbish".... sadly though, it seems that this is a very common outcome for many HDR users. These HDR images are everywhere at the moment and they keep appearing. You know the ones (naturally I can't single out anyone, or I would be mud) they look like fluro cartoons, just go to any online gallery and search for HDR and you find them.... Lots of them! :-(

The Golden Rule of HDR #1:

Good HDR will not even look like good HDR.

The Golden Rule of HDR #2:

If your image looks like HDR, refer to Rule #1.

"What?" I hear you say. "Good HDR will not even look like good HDR??? - Does that even make sense?"

Yep it sure does. Good HDR will simply look like a well exposed image. It will contain tones that carry right through the dynamic range of the image and these tones will INCLUDE shadows and highlights!

That's right, shadows and highlights!!! They are meant to be there. Take a look around.... where ever you are... right now... take a look. The chances are that you will see shadows that are pretty dark for your eyes and you can only just detect real detail. Similarly, you will probably see highlights that are very bright and you can only just see detail.

This is NATURAL!! This is how we see things in the real world. So why the heck do we end up with HDR images with none of this? How can a user sit in front of their pooter and look at a plastic-fluro-cartoonie image, with no shadows and no highlights and think it looks anything but WRONG??

Yeah I know.... many times someone may want to create an "effect". That's OK, I have no problem with that, as "art photography" has it's place. Just don't try and pass it off as good HDR.

"Keep it real Homie" - HDR Photography 101

End of ramble. ;-)