I talked about HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography in one of my posts of yesterday
. Here's a great example. Click to enlarge. (Sheesh I think I brain farted and called the acronym something else yesterday, oh well.)
This is by Trey Radcliff. The photo lives here on Flickr
. And his site, Stuck in Customs
, has an HDR tutorial. There a lots of other HDR tutorials out there. The main thing with HDR is that it is better to use a tripod and so far I hate using tripods. But I need to get over that. I have a lot of photos I took at the Portland Chinese Garden where I tried bracketing into multiple exposures (with and without a tripod) to take my first real try at HDR. But my poor Macbook just about died under Photoshop trying to merge the photos.
Here is the one photo I was able to merge. (Click to enlarge.)
But I kinda cheated and didn't do a true HDR merge. Plus since there really was nothing interesting going on in the sky that morning, the HDR effect is not really that apparent. Usually you can tell HDR when both the land and the sky are in vivid detail. DSLR cameras are unable to capture the full range of dynamic resolution between both the lightest (often the sky) and the darkest (the land), so for HDR you typically capture three exposures (called bracketing, which is also an available function on most DSLRs), one perfectly exposed, one under exposed, and one over exposed. Then through the magic of HDR software (or the HDR function available in Photoshop), those (ideally) perfectly aligned via a tripod shots are merged into a stunning, high dynamic range photo.
Except my first few tries have been less than spectacular. I think there's more to it than a simple merge - I've merged photos before - I've taken single shots and adjusted them in Photoshop to be both over and under exposed and merged them. I got better results at that than I have so far for HDR. The HDR merge does something to the resulting photos that requires a type of photo adjustment that is different somehow than what I've experienced before. And I've been using Photoshop for going on 10 years now.