About HDR Photography

Learn more about Photomatix, the awesome product I use to create HDR images, on my review page here.

If you want to see my HDR Tutorial for more insight on my HDR workflow and to see the exact steps I take to create these images, you can find that here.  

If you decide to purchase this software, click here to get a coupon code and save 15% on it!

What is HDR?

HDR is short for High Dynamic Range and it is a rather hot topic in photography circles.  I love it and find that many folks do too, though probably an equal amount do not.  That is ok - to each his own.  I think it brings interesting elements to the photo and certainly brings in a much greater level of detail than you can capture in a single image.  It seems to more clearly represent what you can see with the human eye.  We see and remember a lot of detail about a subject, but when you see a photo it often seems flat.  I think HDR makes a photo come alive.  It’s almost like being there!

How does HDR work?

HDR is essentially a process whereby you take multiple shots of the same subject, but at different shutter speeds. The slower shutter speeds allow in more light (because the shutter is open longer), making the image much brighter. The faster shutter speeds allow in less light (because the shutter is open a shorter amount of time) and result in darker images. I usually take 3-5 images per subject at various light levels and then combine them in software such as Photomatix (www.hdrsoft.com) which in my opinion is a fantastic product.  By taking these multiple shots, you are able to capture a higher level of detail than if you take just one shot and it results in a great range of color and "interestingness" to the photos.  

For example, with one shot you often have areas that are “blown out”, meaning way over-exposed and other areas that are way too dark.  It is often difficult if not impossible to capture the best of both worlds in a single image.  So, along comes HDR.  By taking all these shots and combining them into a single image, you get the best elements of all the shots.

You can find a lot of discussion online about HDR - just Google it.  You can also read my review here.  This may give you an opportunity to see how the product looks and feels.

Some of my favorite HDR shots, taken at various spots around the world during my travels: