Experimenting with HDR Imaging

I’ve been toying with the idea of learning HDR for a while now. HDR is high dynamic range imaging. It’s (mostly) a post production process that turns photos into something more than just photos, while (mostly) retaining the integrity of the image.
It wasn’t until I fell in love with this photograper, Trey Ratcliff, that I really pulled up my socks and dove in head first. And when you see this photo of Trey’s you too will want to discover how to do HDR… it’s just… heartstoppingly beautiful.
Photo by Trey RatcliffHDR production requires that you take photographs in Raw format. In fact, you have to take 3 photos of the same scene in varying degrees of exposure. Next is to use some snappy HDR software that merges all the photos together, blending the best exposure components together to result in one stunning image.

The first HDR image was created in the 1930’s by a photographer, Charles Wyckoff who used it when taking pictures of nuclear explosions.

It’s been miserable weather since i fell in love with HDR, so I haven’t had the opportunity to shoot in raw outside, so I’ve been working on fudging HDR. ;-)

There is a nifty Photoshop Plugin from Topaz that creates a “poor man’s HDR” result. The upside is that it does interesting things. The downside is that it relies on a lot of noise addition to the photos. I’m still working on it, and have had interesting results, but Trey has nothing to worry about from me ;-)

You want to lose yourself in some eyecandy - check out the HDR Flickr Group.