The 10 Steps Every HDR Photographer Goes Through

Step 10: Ok. Don’t Screw HDR. It’s Just A Tool And I Will Use It As Needed. HDR is still pretty awesome.

This is the final stage for most photographers that pursue HDR and the one I feel I am currently in. Not every image needs HDR processing. Sometimes blown highlights or clipped shadows can actually enhance a scene rather than take away from it. Sometimes these things add mystery to a photo and who was it that said, “A photo should tell just enough of a story to leave the viewer thinking.” When you tell the whole story, nothing is left for the viewer. Yes, not every image needs to run through Photomatix but guess what: Some scenes really can’t be captured in just one frame and sometimes you really do need to capture all that beautiful light and bring it into one, final image. When that happens, we should embrace HDR as the tool it is. Capture that light in however many exposures you need and go about combining those exposures by whatever means you feel necessary. After all, your photography should be about one thing: Making you happy. If someone else doesn’t like it, screw them. You don’t create images to please other people and if you do then you’re not in it for the right reasons (well, unless you shoot exclusively for clients). We need to stop viewing HDR as a style and start seeing it as a tool. Something that we can pull out of our bag of tricks when we need it to create a better image than we otherwise would be able to. And there is nothing wrong with that in my book.

A Beechcraft Bonanza at Sunset

A Beechcraft Bonanza at Sunset (blown highlights from the sun included)


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