HDR Photography – as a Tool or Art Form

Blue Ridge Parkway B&W Bob Grytten poto
Morning Light, Blue Ridge Parkway, HDR in B&W
Bob Grytten photo

Technology is Great, ain’t it – once we figure out how to use it. What Digital has brought to the table is really nifty. Take HDR, for example…

When we look at a scene with light areas, dark areas and medium tone areas, our magical lenses (read eyes) sends each area to our brain and we make all of the different tonal areas into a picture in our mind. Then we point our Nikon, Cannon, Pentex, or Sony at that scene and were disappointed at what the camera sees. THE CAMERA CANNOT SEE AS THE HUMAN SEES, at least most of them – for now. That’s where HDR comes in. WE have to use it to make a scene like our brain does.

It works like this. We take three pictures with our Camera. Over expose one image by two stops, under expose another image by two stops and take one that is properly exposed. Then place those three images in an HDR program – I use Photomatix. The program puts all three images together and out come a picture like our brain sees the scene. Nifty eh??!! Below is the difference between the way our camera records the scene and how the three images look after put through the HDR Program.

Blue Ridge Parkway the way the Camera Sees it…
Blue Ridge Parkway the way the Camera Sees it…

Not too exciting, is it? the foreground is dark and the Sky is washed out.

We made three different exposures.

1 – under exposed two stops

1 – over exposed two stops

1 – proper exposure

We then put the three exposures in the Photomatix Program and look what turned out…

Blue Ridge Parkway V. HDR Bob Grytten Image
Blue Ridge Parkway V. HDR
Bob Grytten Image

How about that — Magic!

There is detail in the foreground, leaves and sky  as well.

And anyone can do it.

Just download the program and they have a tutorial to walk you through the process. But you must do it, if you expect to get result.

Click here for Photomatix  You’ll notice the price of $99 or $39 but that’s only if or when you want to buy it. You can try it without buying – free. Your copy will only have a Watermark on it, but it operates just like the purchased copy.

Keep reading for a nice site with a 15% discount. Enjoy.

HDR Tutorial – How to Make Beautiful HDR Photos with Ease!

HDR Software – The Requirements

The first thing to get is Photomatix Pro. To get started, visit the Photomatix page and use the coupon code “TREYRATCLIFF” to save 15%. This is an important piece of the puzzle! It is fun and simple HDR software to use – I will show you how. I also taught my son how to use a BB gun and he only injured his sisters twice.

I also offer a Complete HDR Tutorial video course that you might enjoy even more than this texty-version! If you are feeling extra-lazy, then you can also pick up my Trey’s Photomatix Presets, which are not required, but will give you a head start!

The Free HDR Tutorial

I wrote this Free HDR photography tutorial over six years ago and I update it about every three months. Recently I rewrote it from scratch to incorporate all of the new things I’ve learned and I am happy to share them with you here.

Hundreds of thousands of people have used this tutorial to learn how to make beautiful HDR photos — I am sure it can teach you too! Remember, anyone can do this stuff. All it takes is a tiny bit of curiosity. You will surprise yourself in no time! Let’s get started!

Who is the best audience for this HDR Photography tutorial?

This tutorial is great for new photographers as well as intermediate to beyond. We’ll get started slow, and ramp up from there!

HDR (High Dynamic Range) is still a relatively new way to create photos. I’ve traveled around the world and shot with many incredible photographers. After we shoot, we get together to compare techniques and post-process photos late into the night. Over time I’ve crafted a best-of-breed solution that will help you create your own unique art. This tutorial not only teaches HDR, but it will help you create a style that is quintessentially your own! More…

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