Question #9: About HDR

Q: "What do you think of HDR? I haven't seen any pictures of yours that applies that process. Thank you in advance for your answer." Donald from Montreal, Canada

Note that the question was originally sent in French as follows: "Ma question est la suivante : que pensez-vous du HDR ? Je ne crois pas avoir déjà aperçu de vos photos qui résultaient de ce procédé. Je vous remercie à l'avance de votre réponse." Donald, Montréal, Canada.

A: "HDR... One of the most controversial photography topics in recent years! You may be surprised to hear that I jumped on the HDR (High Dynamic Range) bandwagon really early. Like most photographers, I was fascinated by the fact that I could take multiple exposures, process them in Photomatix and, within a few seconds, create this magic blend that would reveal details in the bright and dark areas of the frame.

We are given tools that can actually make an image look much closer to what the human eye can see than what the camera could ever capture. New technology allows us now to render a higher range of intensity levels with a single exposure. Some cameras also now have a built-in HDR setting. There's never been a more exciting time to be a photographer.

Do I like HDR? In my opinion, if an image looks processed then it's over done. That's my personal taste.  But we are talking about art and there is no right or wrong answer. Art is subjective and that's a beauty of it!

I think we need to stress the fact that no amount of post processing is going to make a picture better if it's not a good picture to start with. As the saying goes "You can't polish a turd..." It's all about light, content, composition and story.  I think that, in photography, post processing should be used as a fine-tuning tool. The true creativity of the artist is applied in the field."

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