Arkansas Wildlife Blog and Gallery
Buffalo National River and NW Arkansas
HDR photography is an interesting tool to add drama and "pop" to your photos. HDR software combines three different exposures of the same subject to protect both the highlights and open up the shadows in a new composite image.
This new composite image created in the software is 96 bit color, in contrast to 16 bit or 8 bit in most photos. The new image has so much color information that your monitor cannot display it correctly. Through a series of menus and tone mapping, you covert the image back to 16 bit, while retaining tremendous color detail.
These images are quite striking. Anyone looking at them can see the difference, often they seem 3D. Depending on how you use the different output options, your HDR images can range from pretty typical images with great depth, to painterly, to even surreal images. This one tool, HDR, really does open up a huge range of possible expression that was previously not easily available.
I have been playing around with Photomatix Pro 3.0 for some time now. Photoshop can do HDRs, but at least through CS3, Photomatix generally felt to be the better program. I don't care to quibble about this program or that equipment, but I do care a lot about creative possibilities. HDR offers great creative possibilities and everyone should try it. I am hooked on it for landscapes. My HDRs seem to be very compelling to my customers.
High Dynamic Range (HDR) Landscapes
Outback Photo (discount coupon)
Upper Buffalo Wilderness
The three pictures above are from my hike in the Upper Buffalo Wilderness on October 13, 2008. We are in early fall color. The HDR techniques I used really brings out the drama of the settings, the fall color, and the skies. These are all "straight ahead" HDRs.
This HDR was created by inserting the normally exposed photo of the three photo sequence as a layer, and manipulating its transparency to take the edge off the HDR. Of course layer masking is possible too. Use HDR as an ingredient.
The Buffalo Rive at Ozark