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High Dynamic Range the future of photography

It’s been a while since I posted, sorry guys I just got busy the past several days with some event and personal shoots. So you guys might be wondering what I have been doing lately? Want to guess? Nah I know it’s already up there on my headline (grin*). Most of you know that I have been doing glamour shoots, for models and promoters portfolio including individuals who like their own personal photos. These not necessarily mean I’m a one dimensional photographer and can only do glamour. So I dragged myself outside of my usual routine and tried out doing something different, this time around I’m not in the studio with a model, what I have is my Sony Alpha A77 (Thank you Sony) and a tripod ready to take a walk outside.

Let me go back when I started out in photography, I always admire photos in the web that are having HDR effect on their photos but I didn’t have the feel of doing it. Until recently I bump in with Mr. Neil Kremer, one of the re known photographer in doing HDR. I just love all of his images in Flickr and 500px that it inspired me to try it out. So what is a HDR or High Dynamic Range? 

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.

Check wikipedia for more.

Let me explain it to you in a simple way, our DSLR most of the time cannot read the dynamic range of a certain scene, picture out on your mind just like when you take a photo of your living room during morning with the windows open light enters. If you focus on the living room itself then you’ll get a photo with proper expose living room but with a blown out (washed out) highlights from the window but when you meter on the outside of the window then the photo that you have taken will be underexposed on the living room but correctly exposed on the outside of the window.

This is where the HDR or HDRI plays it part, by getting multiple exposure shots you can have total control of the highlights and shadows of your image while retaining details that you want to have on your images. This is possible with the help of Photoshop and other imaging applications to merge/ blend all images in one. Please understand that this entire are just based on my personal views and I’m not yet an expert to elaborate most of the technicalities about HDR. There are other articles or videos that you can search and may explain thoroughly about it and may also contradict on what I had said, but still were on the same page of the topic.

Many of what we call purist, idealist or minimalist photographers does not embrace this type of photography, thinking that it alters the true essence of the craft. I respect it, it is their point of view but that does not necessarily means that HDR goes beyond the excess of manipulation. One of the great fathers of photography Ansel Adams, even during their time did some manipulations to produce great images. Adams revolutionizes the photographic world with his dodge and burn for his black and white images that made him stand out with other photographers.

I must agree with HDR fanatics that it will be the future feature of the digital imaging, a couple of years ago DSLR’s doesn’t have the HDR options on their systems but take a look now, most of imaging devices specially the Iphone, the first to incorporate this option on their mobile are being followed by the big brands like Nikon and Canon, even the video graphic world has it. 

Photography and technology goes along side by side, as long as there is innovation then there will be new things that will come up. These advances might eventually help budding photographers to have our own niche in the industry. Then again just a warning, HDR images varies to personal taste, some images may look cartoony and some images may look awesome, so it’s still on the photographers preferences, like we all say everything overdone is not good.

All we have to do is try it out, if it suits your taste in terms of your photography then use it. We always have the option in ourselves to restrain from anything we don’t want. Don't be surprised that maybe in the succeeding years we might have a 3D or 4D technology in our DSLR's or photoshop (Smile*). I had put here some of the HDR images that I had made recently and tell me what do you think about them. 

Did I do well? Hope so….

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..til the next blog post!

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