As a counterpoint to yesterday’s pure unadulterated image of the rainbow I today offer an image that has been processed for HDR that will hopefully go some way to explain why I like the technique and find it useful. Certainly, I understand why some of the commentators on my blog prefer the ‘purer’ photography of my flower pictures or yesterdays offering. I myself am trying to strike a happy balance between the two.
It is certainly true that there is nothing worse than a photograph that has been processed for HDR badly and you can spot them a mile off. If you have a Flickr account, take a look at the ‘My First HDR – beginners group’ to see how some HDR can go spectacularly wrong (and also to see examples of the technique done probably).
As a recap, for those who might be reading the blog for the first time, HDR is basically the combination of three images of the same thing – one as taken, one underexposed, one overexposed. When combined together and tone mapped using software such as Photoshop or Photomatix you can then manipulate light, shadows and contrast to achieve some interesting results.
This image, taken on a dull Autumn’s day on a wet beach in North Wales is really not much to write home about in its original form. It’s flat, grey, uninspiring and dull. I processed it purely as an experiment as I took a series of pictures of kite surfers at the same time and wanted to know whether such action shots would work in HDR – the answer is that they don’t in case you were wondering. After processing I was really pleased with the finished image; it’s suitably wintry, the sky looks amazing but what I am really pleased with is the deep bottle green of the sea – a sea that just looks grey on the original image.
Hopefully, it is obvious from this image why I continue to dabble in HDR, especially for landscape work. You may still think it’s a dull, uninspiring photo and again I have no problem with that. All comments are welcome as ever.
With regards to the kite surfers, I hope to upload those photos to Flickr at the weekend. These are my first real attempts at ‘action shots’ and overall I’m pretty please with them. And, as detailed above, some of these too will be blogged in their pure form at some pint next week