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Dash of Inspiration: HDR Photography and Effects

August 4, 2014

A Dash of Inspiration, A Cup of Creativity by Doreen

HDR Photography & Effects

The effects or ‘look’ of HDR photography is very popular right now and will cause you take a second look when you see an image which has HDR post-processing, but what is it? HDR stands for High-dynamic-range. Cameras which do not specialize in High Dynamic Range, take photographs that are considered those with a limited range of exposure which  results in a loss of detail in the highlights and shadows of the image. Traditional HDR photographs compensate for this loss of exposure and detail, because the process is generally achieved by capturing multiple photos with different exposures and then merging them into one HDR image.

Though HDR photography was pioneered as early as the 1850s by Gustave Le Gray, most photographers look to Ansel Adams and his creation of the Zone System that really began this artistic journey. Today, most photographer have digital post-processing tools to give the effect of HDR to the entire image or to paint the extended detail into certain areas of the photograph.



In this Dash of Inspiration, I’m just here to inspire you to learn more about HDR and your options for post-processing software and techniques. Like all ‘effects’, you should research and practice, as this too can be overdone – quickly becoming an image with excessive effects rather than beautiful imagery.

For those who are willing to experiment with shooting HDR photographs, these tutorials will get you off to a good start and you can have some fun experimenting.

Setting Up Your Digital Camera For HDR ShootingThree-part Series

How to Shoot and Post-Process Professional HDR Photos in One Day


Post-processing HDR Tips and Tutorials:

Lightroom:  HDR Video Tutorial by Dave Marrow

Photoshop: How to Manually Create an HDR Photo in Photoshop

Paint Shop Pro – Create perfectly exposed images with HDR Photo Merge

If you find yourself interested in expanding your tool box with HDR software, this list, though not complete, will help you choose software.

Top 20 Best HDR Software Review 2014


For the example images I’ve shown here, I use Perfect Photo Suite 7 which has as part of it’s huge tool set the ability to apply HDR effects by simply painting varying levels only where you want enhancements.

If you need more inspiration to see how amazing HDR effects/photography can really be, browse through these photographs.

So until next week … Learn … Create … Inspire!

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