HDR photography is one of those genres or techniques that is highly abused, just like purposely vignetting a photo is. If you come across a persons photos that have that vignetting effect on each of their photos, you know that they are most likely beginners who have found a new effect in their photo editing software. Why people find this effect remotely tasteful, is beyond me.
HDR is another technique that is highly abused.
I feel nauseous when i see some of the HDR photos out there. There are plenty that are just horrible. Perfeclty good photos that have been turned into cartoonish orgies of color. You would think a rainbow threw up over the photo! HDR IS NOT supposed to look that way. If someone says right of the bat, “Nice HDR photo”, then you know you have failed. HDR is not supposed to be noticed.
Our eyes are the most sophisticated sensors ever! If technology can ever duplicate a human eye, it will not happen in my lifetime or my daughters lifetime. The dynamic range that our eyes can interpret, is unthinkable and can not be duplicated by a camera. The following article by Nasim Mansurov about HDR, will explain what HDR is, why it is a useful technique to use, when to employ it and how to do it with a single frame or multiple frames:
As the article points out, HDR is probably best employed when you come across a difficult lighting condition. You as the photographer can use it whenever you like. However, remember the golden rule: if someone knows it’s HDR, then you have failed.
Personally, i have not tried “real” HDR yet. When i had my D5100, i played around with the built in HDR and noticed a slight improvement in the DR. However, to do it properly, you need to do it in a photo editing software.
I hope to put to practice what i learnt in the article by Nasim, for i think it will add a nice new dimension to my photography. Thanks Nasim