101 List – Learn To Make HDR Photos

Breigh March 15, 2011 7

One of the things I’ve been most determined to do from my 101 List is learning to make High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photos.  I’ve seen some amazing HDR photos on Flickr and really wanted to learn to do it myself, but on first examination it seemed really difficult.  This was when I first got my DSLR camera and I already had so much to learn that I figured I’d save the HDR for later.

Today I was messing around and decided to download Photomatix and see how it all works. I hadn’t already taken photos for this purpose so I cheated a bit and took a few of my jpg photos from my point and shoot, saved two other versions of them with higher and lower exposure and played around with them.  I know this isn’t going to work quite as well as if I’d taken photos for that purpose and was able to edit them from RAW form but it was enough to give me a little taste.

First Attempts at HDR

I took the photos while we were showing friends around Kinderdijk on Sunday.  They are here visiting from Canada and I figured we’d take them to one of the bigger tourist destinations around here.  I had already been to Kinderdijk a number of times so I hung around outside while they went into the windmill.  I brought my point and shoot with me, which I usually do… so to keep myself busy I took a few photos of what was going on around me.

First Attempts at HDR

I particularly loved watching this little girl ‘fishing’ with a reed from the side of the canal.  She was so cute and I’m glad I quickly dug my camera out again to catch her in the act.  I also like the way the photo of her came out!

I want to spend some time doing tutorials for this to learn exactly how all the different tools work.  I was just clicking and dragging stuff at random until I got something that looked the way I wanted.  I’m sure there are many many other processes that could be followed to really make them pop.

For now though, I’m pleased that I’ve made a start!  I see a lot more HDR photos in my future.  Even those super overly processed ones some people seem to hate!  I think they look freaky and interesting.

7 Comments »

  1. Lori March 15, 2011 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    You’ve now inspired me to try to do the same- I always love learning new things and this is something that I know I’ll love!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Sonya March 15, 2011 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Well as you already know, I thought these were fantastic! they look amazing:) Im going to try my hand at it aswell:)

  3. Zhu March 16, 2011 at 1:53 am - Reply

    The result is pretty good! HDR is on my “to-learn” list as well, never quite got around it. I love subtle HDR but I hate it when images are over-processed. It looks fake.

  4. Erin March 16, 2011 at 1:53 am - Reply

    Holy COW, that bottom photo is *fantastic*. Do you have it in a hi-res file that can be printed? If you do, would you sell me a copy? Because I want to hang that on my wall!

  5. Lori March 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    I love your list- and after reading this I saw a HDR app for the iphone- I had to get it just to play- I’m going to try it by shooting in RAW with my DSLR but I thought this would be something fun to play with- So far I haven’t had the chance for anything major, but getting ready to see what I can come up with.

    Swimming with the dolphins is something that you definitely should do- It would have been on my list too if I’d done it last year- but I was able to swim with them in Cozumel this past December.. I hugged it- kissed it and it pulled me across the laggoon- It was the most awesome experience EVER and I wnated to be a dolphin trainer lol

    I also want to visit Auschwitz and never thought about visiting the Dutch concentration camps, but now i’m going to add both to my list- I got some great new ideas from you. Thanks!!!

  6. HDR Photographer May 25, 2011 at 6:20 am - Reply

    HDR photography can be time intensive to learn. One quick work-around is to download a free trial version of Topaz Adjust and use it to modify just one photo. You will be surprised how much your photo will look like an HDR image.

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