Playing with HDR

In the past, I’ve played with various free HDR programs (mostly on trial mode).  Of course, many many attempts came out horrible.  Not because HDR is horribly overused at the moment (miserably overused on flickr), but because for the most part, my photography doesn’t lend itself to HDR very much.  I cannot grab the 2 or 3 different exposures of a person while walking, and my stills aren’t the type that can be HDR-ized very well.

That said, in the city I made kind of a desperate attempt at following the HDR herd and pulled out these two images.  I promise I won’t make HDR posts a constant thing, but I do want to try it and show off the few times I make it work.

HDR Attempt Alpha

I think I took this image first?  I was walking back to make the train home and it was the first street I came across that had no traffic and I could step a bit into the street.  I think I briefly rested against the car on the left, snapped the three exposures but processed only the brightest and darkest (-2,+2).

So after I ran this through Photoshop CS5’s HDR processing, I put it through the HDR Toning, then my secret blend of Shadows + Highlights and the works.

HDR Attempt Beta

This one was obviously harder to process because there were moving subjects.  Basically the same process as above, but here I had to deal with the ghosting of moving cars and people.  I think this looks more like an illustration than a photograph.  I’m not exactly sure how I feel about that.


5 thoughts on “Playing with HDR

  1. I am not really a huge fan of hdr either. It’s ok in small but natural looking doses. I own photomatix and I use it sometimes just to change things up a little. My trick, if you want to call it that, is to be easy on the light smoothing slider. That slider makes the image go really bad really quick. I don’t understand how some people like that plasticky haloed look, boggles my mind. Im also not a huge fan of all of the noise it brings into the Image. With that said your images above are pretty good for rushing to the train and not using a tripod. I’m sure if you took your time, used a tripod and really composed on a scene that you would make some outstanding hdrs.

    we should catch up soon and do a walk or if you would like, go during the good light at the begining or end of the day.


    • I agree. The plasticky look is horrible I can’t figure out why some people enjoy it so much.
      Although I do like how these came out, I doubt I’ll every try this as a serious pursuit. I mean, I do have a tripod and a monopod and I have the means to make good HDR, but not really the desire.

      Thank you for the compliment. I never really have the patience to lug any stabilization device, so I freehand a lot. I was surprised either of these images worked.

      Also, I’m working on a post to put up announcing the shows and photo walks I plan on going to for the remainder of the summer and into the fall. Jackie and H were asking when we could all shoot together again.

  2. I would love to go shooting anytime. I was just on the flickr page and no one on there ever wants to go. I try to make plans and never get any responses so I just left my email addy on there and told them when they feel like going to send me an email. I will probably go on there less frequently since it seems to be not as active as it was. I will follow your blog on Twitter and look for updates. If you ever want to plan something feel free to hit me up.


    • Well I just put up a new post on some of the walks I plan on going. I will not be back on Long Island area until June 12 or so, but after that I will be available every weekend to go shooting.

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