Is HDR Photography Dead? (TBT)


I remember when I couldn’t get enough of Trey Ratcliff and his HDR work. In fact, 80-90% of my own work was tone-mapped and my go-to software was Photomatix or Topaz Adjust.

I can’t even remember the last time I visited sites like HDR Creme or HDR Spotting ( I just had to Google it because I couldn’t remember it). It’s not that I don’t like it anymore. I still bracket shots on occasion. I guess I’ve just moved on….

Well, here’s to moving on…… my first tone-mapped image in many moons.


I got up @ 4:30 am  to shoot the sunrise and that was a bust but this was my first capture of the day. Nothing great, bracketed the Belmar Fishing Club building for old time sake. Had to decide which software to use… Topaz, Photomatix or Nik. Went with Nik and now I remember why I liked tone-mapping so much. Look at that sky… Wow!

What about you? Are you over the HDR craze? What was your last tone-mapped shot? Would love to see it. Post a link in the comments section for all to see.


6 thoughts on “Is HDR Photography Dead? (TBT)

  1. The thing I like about it’s dropping popularity Mike is that now I can play with it like I did in the past and take it just that little bit toooo faaarrr without Sally and other reality freaks coming down on me like a ton of bricks. I like Trey’s style a lot, however at times he comes across as someone who believes that if your not doing his brand of HDR you are just being a drain on society, and in reality its “Different Strokes for Different Folks” Lack of popularity affords us that again.

  2. Always slightly against the grain, that’s the Ron I know:) I agree with you, different strokes. That’s what makes the photography stuff so great!

  3. I’ve never been into the highly stylized HDR and think it’s a shame that some photographers promoted their style to the point where it became a cliche. It’s really given it a bad name and folks who use it as it was meant to be used – to bring out the full range of lights and darks in a scene – have to overcome a lot of misplaced prejudice against HDR.

    I don’t use it very often but I think this is the most recent image I did using brackets and tone mapping: Can’t remember which merging software I used but it was likely HDR Efex Pro. Must admit that for this one (and I lot that I do), after I finished all the processing, I wondered whether I really needed the brackets in the first place. 😉

    1. Yeah Julie with most of the newer camera’s, like yours and mine, the sensors can grab quite a bit of range in the shadows and highlights making bracketing not needed. I guess that’s why i’m doing less hdr. BTW, I remember that shot of your’s from your site!

  4. I have never been a huge fan of the results of HDR. I’ve seen one or two that have caught my eye, but on the whole the effects achieved are too baked, which detracts from the photo. Just as black and white emphasises lighting and shapes, HDR does the opposite, it hits me in the face and that hides any subtleties that I love in great photos.

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