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"HDR photographs. Cheating or just really cheesy?"

Jason Kottke (http://kottke.org if you're unfamiliar) recently Twittered this question :

"HDR photographs. Cheating or just really cheesy?"


For those who don't know -
HDR (Hight Dynamic Range) photographs combine multiple photographs of the exact same shot (taken on a tripod for consistency) together. Each shot is taken with a different exposure. The result is one photograph with stunning detail and really interesting colors / shadows / sharpness. Essentially it increases the range of what we can capture in one photograph alone.

In other words :
In one shot you can either have the bright sky or the dark ground properly exposed. But with HDR you take one shot (or many) of the sky properly exposed, than one shot (or many) of the dark ground properly exposed - and combine them together to get the best of both worlds. 

More details here -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_dynamic_range_imaging

Here's an example
http://forum.photojojo.com/img/posted/img47a0d0ac7dc9b.jpg?url=http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1326/1287861021_564e7a1fed.jpg

and many more can be found here http://www.flickr.com/groups/hdr/pool/

As you can see the results are usually surreal - resembling a painting or 3D game. But its this very outcome that make some think HDR is overdone, cheesy and not "real" photography. Others eat it up.

What do you think?
 
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Susan
2457 days ago




 
My opinion is that when it's done subtly it's great. I like how you can bring out subtle lighting effects that aren't captured well with a single exposure.

I'm not such a fan of the more surreal looking shots which kind of remind me of those cheesy "oil painting" effects some plug-ins provide.
 
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Neutral


jude
2457 days ago




 
It is a way of cheating, but photography is always evolving. Some photographers still don't think that digital should be considered a form of photography because you don't use film. I guess if you tell someone what type of picture it is, you are being honest, but when you photoshop your picture once, then isn't that changing what was really there. This is a tough one, any more opinions?
 
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Neutral


AJL3Photo
2457 days ago




 
Used subtly and occasionally, it can produce stunning images - but overused, it looks like the photo's been rendered with a raytracer.
I don't think it's cheating per se, but it's another tool that you can use in certain circumstances.

I messed about with it a while ago, and got a few results I really liked.
One thing that I tried briefly (and need to do more work on) is HDR infrared.
Because IR photos tend to be super contrasty, and block up easily, I thought it was a prime candidate for HDRing.

they turned out with a lot of cheese and a bad halo around objects, but the technique is filed under "try again when the weather is better"

They're here if you want to have a look
http://s26.photobucket.com/albums/c103/ … 032sml.jpg
http://s26.photobucket.com/albums/c103/ … ir2sml.jpg
http://s26.photobucket.com/albums/c103/ … IR1sml.jpg
 
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Neutral


ben-s
2457 days ago




 
I'm in the neutral camp too. I've seen some where the effect was used with a light touch and the results are lovely. I've also seen some photos with not-so-subtle HDR that were also pretty darn cool. But, I've also seen quite a few that are cheesy as all hell.

As to it being "cheating" - I think of HDR as just another tool to use to help the photographer show what s/he had in mind. On the other hand, I haven't tried it yet because I like the idea of capturing the moment with my camera - not invent it later with photoshopping. Then again, I almost always do some tweaking once I download my photos to my computer.

Hmm, perhaps for me "neutral" should really be "WISHY WASHY"
 
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Neutral


Karol A
2456 days ago




Stunning Photography


UN_filler
2456 days ago
 
Seems to me photography has always been a bag full of tricks. Loaded to the rim with different lenses, angles, and lighting techniques. We continue to tamper with the original model we know, and love so much.

Now we are not just looking at a photograph of landscaping… we are looking at it the way the photographer wanted: the way s/he saw it. With all of its beauty captured, and its style enhanced by making the many mute details pop.

When you are our shooting you feel many things your camera will not capture. How heavy the rain was, or how much wind there actually was. By making these details more vibrant you now show your audience exactly what you wanted to capture.

I think photography has morphed into styleography. We are now taking more than just pictures; and I couldn’t be happier.

Here’s to hoping the HRD continues,
Matt
 
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Stunning Photography


Matt Merce
r

2456 days ago




Stunning Photography


UN_filler
2455 days ago
 
When it's done properly it's great... but if it's done badly, over-processed cheese, like most things.
 
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Stunning Photography


charliem
2455 days ago




 
Why am I thinking about a big, fat cheese pizza now? 8-)
 
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Neutral


Karol A
2455 days ago




Stunning Photography


UN_filler
2454 days ago
   


Stunning Photography


EmThree
2454 days ago




 
Hey, do whatever floats your boat smile   

For me, HDR is hopefully a way to make images appear on screen/paper how they appear to us when we see them in real life.  The latitude of digital and flim cameras don't provide the same breadth that our eyes do.  In a split scene, photographers usually have to decided if they want to expose for the lighter elements OR the dark elements OR somewhere in between - in each case you miss subject detail and subtlety in your shot, parts of the scene that you can plainly see with your own eyes. So if HDR can make a scene more realistic - to compensate for the shallow range of luminance film/sensors can pick up, then I think it's worth its weight in gold.

Great topic for discussion.
 
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Neutral


Luke
2452 days ago




0
Over Processed Cheese
 
3
Stunning Photography



6743


Over Processed Cheese

 
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