What is HDR for used and where did it come from?  These are important questions you have to ask yourself.  As HDR stands for High Dynamic Range,  which works with 3 different photos or film shoots in one image.  I have worked with this type of photography and will be doing some of this photo’s in the near future but the one thing you have to watch.  As with most things, there are up’s and down’s to HDR that is something I will be going through on this project.  On top of this, I am looking at how all this come about and when?  As I do not believe that HDR is a modern thing as Ansal Adams was shooting this way before computers had a look in on photography.  Which makes the way Adams work even more impressive.

How it all started

It all started in the 1800’s or at least in the middle of this century.  the way it worked back then is they’ve would take two images of the same subject which back then was mainly landscapes and would have one with the correct exposures to the land or sea and then another for the sky.  So they would mix the two together when processing the images.  The great thing about working this way you can get some amazing shots.  The first examples of this were with Gustave Le Gray.  Where he has made some amazing examples with is own work.  But I have to say the best person how has worked like this is Ansal Adams.  As he has made working in the darkroom easier by giving the technical a new twist.

Then as the years have moved on to these days there are many different Apps for phones and software.  This is where we know.  I know it is a short history of HDR shots as well as where it is going.

What makes HDR images?

Well like I said in the How it all started bit above.  It is a mixture of photo’s that have different exposures that are a stop or 2 different from each other.  For example you ideal need one of each of these: –

  • Overexposed
  • Underexposed
  • Exposed

You do not have to have these with each image as there is a way to do it with CameraRaw and Lightroom, but that can be done with one photo and the results are not always that good.  It is always better to use 3 or more photos to make these images as you will deftly get better results.  As this is how it all works.

  • Exposed = The perfect all round lighting for one shot.  Which has all the shadow and light areas all looking about right.
  • Overexposed = Will get detail from the shadow area, so there is a too dark area.
  • Underexposed = This will get the parts that are in the light or in very bright areas with details.

I have added an image that show’s what is it all about.  I have done it as 7 exposures that you can look at and see the difference between them all.  I have started in as overexposed at +3 and then thought to -3 with the correct exposure in the middle.


This is how the final image knows looks from the cross-section above.


What is so good about HDR?

What is the great thing about HDR photography you might be asking yourself.  Well, I am going to try and explain from my view what is so good about it.  The reason why I think it can be good is that it brings out the shadows and moves them so you can see the detail batter.  You can get stronger colors and more vibrant just this is a bad thing as well, which I will go through in more detail in a bit.

What is bad about HDR?

This can be used way too much with colour where they are too bright and then the clarity can contract is just too much.  It is mainly done in a wrong way, with housing and flat shots as well as decay images.  But it is the style they are going for in their images.  I would say if they toned back most parts of the raw camera parts it can look a hell of a lot better.  In some of these images, there is a Halo looking part which spoils the photo.  With all the above these images can look like they have come straight out of a comic book.

How I use HDR

I have done a Landscape shoot a few weeks ago I also have a few HDR images in there and one of them is above as you can see.  That is taken from the shoot I have just done.  I have put more information into that blog when it comes out soon.  I always make sure the photos look amazing and not something out of a comic book.

I do hope you like my view on the subject.  Please say if you have a different one to me.


P.S. I am dyslexic so sorry for the grammar and spelling.




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