HDR, or High Dynamic Range Photography, is a technique used by digital photographers to create an image that has a greater exposure latitude than traditional photography would normally offer. The finished photograph is actually created by using software to blend multiple different exposures of the same photograph using computer software. Typically, HDR photographers use a tripod and set up the shot just as they want it, then capture 3 or more exposures being sure that neither the camera or the subject move so the image looks nice and clean after blending with the software.
The image of Battleship Cove that I used as an example above, was created from three different exposures. One exposure was perfectly exposed, or at least a happy medium between maintaining details in the highlights and the shadows. One exposure was slightly over exposed, so the details in the shadows would be greater even though the details in the highlights became washed out. The third exposure was slightly underexposed creating very dark shadows, but preserving the all the details of the highlights. All that was left to do was combine the three different exposures using my post processing software to create the final image that you see above.
Please note that this article is an oversimplification of the process for creating high dynamic range photos. The primary purpose is to expose my creative works to a greater audience and not provide a step by step photography tutorial, or a detailed technical analysis of HDR photography. If you have an interest in learning more about the process of creating these types of images, there is a wealth of information that can be found with a quick google search. I’m sure the information you would find would be much more detailed and technical, since I’m more concerned with creating images than talking tech.
As of late, I seldom use this technique…but I still do capture as many as 5 different exposures of a scene when I shoot landscapes or cityscapes. There are other post processing techniques that I tend to use now, but I don’t want to totally rule out HDR so I capture the photos I need to creating these striking images just in case I decide to when I sit down to work at the computer.
If you are interested in viewing more of the HDR photographic work I have done or purchasing any fine art photography prints, please visit my collection of “HDR photography”
Perhaps you’d just like to sit back and enjoy this short video slideshow of some of my HDR photos.