Why I Love HDR….


Fresh SnowAlthough I’ve been publishing a bit of B+W lately I always find myself drawn back to HDR. I really like  to be creative with the colors, tones, details, etc. when tonemapping. Some people say that tonemapping is just a cover up for a mediocre photo. And many times I can’t say as if I disagree, even with my own photos.

This shot is not one of them. Many times I rush to post something regardless of the quality just to get something on the blog. I’m trying to minimize that for you viewers. This shot I’ve worked on for quite some time and I’ve held off posting to make sure it’s just right.

What do you think? Would love to hear your honest thoughts.

3 shots tonemapped in Photomatix and finished in lightroom with some dodging and burning.

21 thoughts on “Why I Love HDR….

  1. Mike, this is truly stunning. I think you have mastered HDR, nowhere have I seen better and I’ll bet I could pick out your images among others. What I like about your HDR is how natural it is, I’ve always admired your processing . The image itself is so interesting and beautifully composed as well. You have to always come back to HDR ! There… you asked! 🙂

  2. We have just undergone floods, although barely touched personally I feel for those heavily effected. You image enhances the effects they feel. That is your talent. I view your B&W but don’t know enough to comment – This is superb. I have just posted a plethora of Art Shots some of which aren’t the best, but they demand to be posted so I did and I’m sure you feel the same. I am holding off on one that I really NEED to do justice to, so it will be delayed (along with the lead up shots. I am glad your back to HDR but just keep posting, I still need to learn from you! Ron

  3. Your HDR images are so artfully done – this one looks like a painting. HDR really brings out the light in images but it takes a discerning eye and a light touch to make magic – and you do!

  4. One of your best to date! I love how naturally you brought out the details and the natural colors…some HDR’s are so overdone. This one is simply stunning!

  5. I can imagine what it feels like to step over that frozen branch and crunch my way through the frosty grass. I am known for not being a fan of HDR. But, just occasionally I see an image that really works, and this is one of them. It is nicely cooked and not over done at all. The composition of the image is just right. Good work! I’d hang it on a wall.

    1. Hey Thanks Ivor and really appreciate the link on your blog! This shot is actually slightly more cooked than I usually produce. It has a slight painterly feel to it. If you look at my HDR gallery you can see some of my other tonemapped photos. My HDR style is normally very subtle. Overcooked is not me but I guess that’s actually up to my viewers. Thanks again!

  6. I’ve come back several times over the last couple days to see this image. It’s one of your best, in my view. The mottled light is so appealing and the lines in the composition lead the eye right where it needs to go.

    I truly wish the HDR controversy would go away. It’s getting tedious, in my opinion. I figure it’s YOUR vision as an artist and why should your viewers care how you decided to arrive at your final product? You either like the image or you don’t and that decision should be independent of the processing tools used. And, I think it takes guts to be an HDR artist in the light of all the crap. I don’t think I could take it if every other comment I heard on one of my images started with “I don’t usually like HDR but….”.

    Quiet, reserved Julie, signing out. 😉

    1. Ah great to hear from you quiet reserved Julie:) I love hearing your insight into all things photography. I respect your opinion and appreciate you commenting on my blog. Well I guess like anything else there will be nay sayers and I guess that’s what makes the world go around.
      I’ve gotten over the fact that people may not like HDR. It’s not for everyone but there are quite a few people that like it. Plus, I’m a Dallas Cowboy football fan and I’m used to getting bashed for liking them too. America’s team, you either love em or you hate em. Maybe I’ve gotten thick skin from that and it’s helped me endure peoples loathing of HDR.
      On another note I’m glad this post has brought about some conversation amongst my viewers. Replies like these are a bit more thought provoking and that’s what I’m after, a bit more dialogue. Thanks quiet, reserved Julie and everyone else!

  7. Love this image, Mike! (I got here via Ivor’s blog, btw and am glad I came.) I think you waited just long enough to post this – it’s simply great. Don’t do any ‘real’ HDR myself, just use Topaz Adjust’s version once in a while, and not too successfully, I might add. I can relate to your comment about putting something on your blog just to satisfy the week’s theme or what have you – been there, done that ; like you, am trying to be more discriminating this year – not easy and can’t say I’m all that proud of what I’ve blogged so far but hope to do better.

  8. I really like the golden light in the trees and the dappled light in the foreground. I think it is what gives it more of a painterly look, which is very pleasing. Why not make a photo look like a painting? Of course, you have started with a great composition. Like Linda, I have not done any real HDR and when I do, it will be your work that is my inspiration.

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