HDR Guest Experiments


Abduzeedo has became a reference in the Internet when the subject is HDR posts. It's a huge pleasure for us to find those cool pictures and post it here for you. But now, George Wilson, a student from the UK, has written us an email, telling his experiences with HDR. Really cool!

Here it is:

A little comparison between hdr and non-hdr.

"I am a student living in the UK with a Canon 400d with a hobby for photography. Whenever I have free time (rarely!), I try to use my camera. I have only been using a DSLR for a short while, but I have learned so much about photography since.

Where do I get my inspiration? I first saw HDR photos in photography magazines and saw the dramatic effects that the process has on photos. I started using Flickr as a portfolio but I was soon hooked on the community! From Flickr I have learned so much and it really inspired me to take more photos. Flickr was another place where I found HDR; I found all the different styles of HDR. I was mainly inspired by the works of Stuck in Customs (Trey Radcliffe) and followed his tutorial about how to start with HDR. I have since then found many HDR photographers which inspire me in different ways.

Most people (non-photographers) who see them say things like “But that’s not real. That’s not photography!” But I think this is one of the reasons digital photography has its advantages. It opens up whole new dimensions in imagery, and this is one of them. I think HDR is just a new medium for digital photography, a new style.

How do I do them? Most times I use my camera; I shoot in RAW mode, unless I am saving memory. This means that when I look back through the photos after loading them onto my computer, I might spot a photo and think to myself: that might make a good HDR! I then load the RAW file into photomatix and play with the tone mapping until I find a result which suits the photo. Many of my HDRs, especially the early ones, made when I was less experienced with photomatix tend to be very different from one another, because I was changing the settings each time. After processing them in photomatix, I always transfer them to Photoshop for touching up, balancing colours, cloning out unwanted features etc. I then of course upload them to Flickr! I rarely go out with my camera just to take some HDRs, it is usually just an effect I consider afterwards when looking through the set of shots.

I prefer photomatix because I like the setting “light smoothing”. Although I am rather against the extremely tone mapped photos, with virtually no light smoothing, sometimes it can be used as a cool effect!

An example of an HDR with little light smoothing

Some of my favourite HDRs that I have taken were in Iceland recently. When testing out an HDR on a RAW file of one of the waterfalls, I found some great settings which I used for all the Iceland shots:

Written by

Fabio Sasso

I'm a Brazilian product designer based in Oakland, California currently working for Google as a Staff Designer. I am also the founder of Abduzeedo, an award-winning digital publication about design and a personal project that has become the source of inspiration for millions of designers and enthusiasts.