Over the past 2-3 years I’ve started to invest a little more time in the art of photography; trying to capture that perfect shot that epitomises the feeling and scenery that I see infront of me, get the awe and wonder of nature into a little rectangular world for others to see, and to try and convey the natural beauty of some of the places that I’ve frequented on my travels.
More often than not I fail quite miserably, but this hasn’t stopped me progressing and looking at new techniques to try and advance the craft.
Which is why about a year ago a photo and corresponding article on HDR photography caught my attention. HDR (high dynamic range) photography is basically the art of taking 3 photos of the same scene, at different exposure levels, to capture the full dynamic range of colours. Or as wikipedia likes to say:
“High Dynamic Range Imaging (HDRI or HDR) is a set of methods used in imaging and photography to allow a greater dynamic range between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than current standard digital imaging methods or photographic methods. HDR images can represent more accurately the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, from direct sunlight to faint starlight, and is often captured by way of a plurality of differently exposed pictures of the same subject matter”
In its basic functionality / my basic process flow it’s taking a photo 3 times, at different exposure levels, overlaying them in a nifty little program and playing with some levels to get your desired result. Around 90% of the time I find that I’m not sure if I like the HDR version more than the original, but now and again the new full dynamic ranging photo seems to work out beautifully and I’m really pleased with the image.
Below are a few of my better attempts at the art of HDR photography, along with (where possible) the original 3 images used so you can see how the images are overlayed to capture both the shadows and the highlights of the scene.