Even if you have no interest in the visual image (not very likely), you would have come across those dreamlike, glossy, and luminescent photos somewhere. Maybe as wallpapers, or photos which you imagined to be illusionary paintings. Welcome to the art and craft of HDR. High Dynamic Range Imaging is an image-processing technique that allows you to represent a wider and deeper range of colors. You can go to Wikipedia to read all about HDR, but I wouldn’t advice it as it is a bit too ‘technical’. Glance through it though, and then go over to this HDR photo gallery which gives you an idea of what HDR is with the help of the sliders on the photo.
The clarity and detail in the photos that comes from the HDR treatment is eye-popping. The good thing is that you can do your own quite easily and enchant the world. These seven websites tell you just how.
Make this your first stop, even before you start learning the technique of stitching together multiple exposure shots to create a HDR photo. HDRSpotting is a Pinterest-styled gallery of user-contributed HDR photos from all corners of the world. Photos are arranged by – Latest, Popular, and Editor’s Picks. You can use Advanced Sort to search through the photo gallery using filters for category, lens, user name, camera, and tags. Each photo-page gives the details of the image. Users can log-in for free and browse and upload on the site.
Look out for: The Advanced Sort feature. Use it to search by the camera-lens combo you own and learn from the HDR photographs.
Head to Flickr for some more HDR inspiration. Flickr has a whole group chatting all theirs to HDR photography. Nearly 750,000 photos should take some time to file through. If you don’t have the patience, jump into the discussion group where 85,000 members can pool their experience to give you the best know-how on how to take great HDR photos.
Look out for: The Flickr group map which lets you explore photos on a world map.
The sister site of HDRSpotting is a good place to go to if you want to learn how to take those cool HDR photos. It’s not only about photos but also equipment and frank opinion on a range of photography topics. Trey Ratclif specializes in HDR photography and travel photography and you will see them merge beautifully here on this site. Interesting note: He was born blind in his right eye.
HDR Crème has photo galleries, user contributions, and a community centered on the art of HDR photography. It features one photo each day labeled as Photo of The Day. It behaves more as an image hosting service than a tutorial site. I just found one tutorial here (HDR with your compact camera) , and that’s a bit disappointing.
The HDR Cookbook is a free collection of practical, in-depth tutorials (the author calls them recipes) on High Dynamic Range photography and some variants like HDR Panorama and Vertorama photography. The contents are very systematically arranged right from the introduction to HDR photography to the workflow you need to follow.
Look out for: Watch The Making-of: High Five (HDR) video and pick up tips.
Ferrell McCollough is a well-known photographer and author of a photography book on HDR. Here in his blog, you will find tutorials on how to shoot HDR photos and a look into his rich galleries. He has a collection of informative posts filed under Quick Tips too.
Look out for: His beautiful collection of black and white HDR photos.
The site is all about tips, tricks, reviews, punditry, training videos, podcasts and anything else that can interest a photographer shooting time lapse, HDR or panoramic photographs. If you are looking to introduce yourself to the basics of HDR photography, head to the HDR Primer page on the site. The posts are a bit dated, but it doesn’t make much of a difference as the tips remain valuable as long as you hold a camera.
Look out for: The nicely compiled list on the The Top 10 HDR Software Programs
These sites are almost completely dedicated to the art of HDR photography. If you have been following our site, you would have come across my previous post on 10 Blogs That Will Make You Into An Amazing Photographer. Quite a few of the resources on that list also talk about HDR photography.
- The 10 Most Stunning Photo Blogs
- It’s Time We Had A Word About Overdone HDR Photography… [Opinion]
- How To Make Fake High Dynamic Range Photos In Photoshop
If you are a member of the photographic community, do you give a thumbs-up to HDR photography, or do you think that it’s more of a gimmick? If you are still on the doorsteps of the photographic community, you can give your take from the outside too. Also, enrich our learning with the best HDR tutorials you know of.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons