Sunday, 24 May 2009

Momentary Lapse of Awe

My first HDR image. Catalin 'Momentary Awe' Marin's to blame. I have discovered the joys of HDR imaging and am now to be seen wandering around wildernesses lugging my red hot (and damn heavy) Manfrotto tripod.

I'm not saying the end result's any good, but it's amazing fun. If you want to see cool and frankly inspirational HDR imaging, take a look at Catalin's piccies here.

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. It's a photo enhancemnt technique that uses three exposures (or more!) of the same shot - typically on neutral, one two stops down and one two stops up. The three images are then stitched together with a range of controls and filters that help you to create a range of effects from slightly jazzed up pictures to strange, ethereal images that go way beyond traditional photography.

It's a little like Marmite to photographers - you either love it or hate it. The hate it camp, as usual, is vocal. Me, I love it.

This image of a crashed car was, incidentally, taken in the mountains of Ras Al Khaimah, near Ajman and five minutes' drive from Sharjah. It's also two minutes out of Oman and a stone's throw from Dubai. Any guesses where, peeps?


the real nick said...

H A T E I T! Comedy photography. How is it different from playing around with Photoshop? The thing with good photography is that you have to get it right, just right, and touch up a little.
It's a fad, like Lomo was. Here today, gone tomorrow.

the real nick said...


Dave said...

I prefer Vegemite to Marmite....

Lew Zealand said...

Ach, gimmick. next it will be tilt-shift. And, face it, tilt shift wouldn't work in Dubai, cos everything looks artificial anyway

samuraisam said...

I can't say I like HDR, but it is all up to individual opinion of course.

As real nick says, its playing around with photoshop; the biggest challenge with all of these new fancy digital cameras and photoshop filters and actions and etc is to be able to take a picture, load it on the computer and not need/have/want to edit it at all.

I wouldn't really classify it as a fad though-- it does have some circumstances in which it is useful, but it is only good for tripod shots of still life.

who is said...

Ah,the nefarious KPT/Alien Skin Eye Candy factor.

HDR is like any post-procesing technique; it's all how you use it.

Some use it elegantly, some very clumsily, some use it like a crutch, some tastlessly, some so tastlessly that it's actually quite brillant.

LoL@the guy who menitoned lomo! Mine's collecting dust somewhere in an IKEA storage bin.

Shhhhh to the guy who mentioned tilt shift...just shhh! Next thing you'll spoil ultra high frame rate/ultra slo mo!

PS That's a pretty damn good photo IMO. Not too overprocessed, composition not overcontrived, very nice sense of tension - it has captured The Sublime. Sallgood.

Tarheel Rambler said...

HDR is a technique/process that certainly doesn't appeal to everyone. But I take exception to the statement that those who create HDR images are not "good" photographers because they manipulate the image. If you think Ansel Adams didn't manipulate images in the darkroom you are sadly mistaken. Some of the truly great photographers of the past played with chemicals to get the effects they wanted. Where do you think the terms "dodging" and "burning" came from?

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