Some experiments in HDR portraiture


TPF Noob!
Jun 6, 2006
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Hello! First post here. Quick introduction -- my name is Ryan McGinnis and I live on the vast, flat plains of Nebraska. :) I shoot all sorts of different stuff; lately, I've been keeping myself busy with storm photography. I've tried using the HDR process on storm photography, but found that clouds just don't keep still enough for it to work. Stuff just has to stay static. The other day, I decided to try HDR work on potraiture, intentionally picking impossible lighting situations. (Well, impossible, at least, without an umbrella flash setup!) I violated a few other rules, too, by centering and using a 10-22mm lens (on the 20D -- works out to 16mm at the wide end) to take the photo. I am surprised by the results. It is possible to tone this image in a way that looks realistic, but I found that toning these to be more emotive/painterly really fit my mood on these.

To take these, I used six bracketed shots, each two stops apart. The camera was tripoded and I used a cable release. I had the model (actually just a friend of mine) hold verrrry still, as the whole series in each instance took about 10 to 15 seconds to complete. The first photo was shot at f/8, the second at f/16 (to get the whole DOF). Both were merged to HDR in Photoshop, then downsampled to 16 bit Adobe RGB via the local contrast option (and a lot of curves tweaking). A few more curves tweaks, downsample to 8 bit, move to sRGB, viola.

In my opinion, great examples of HDR, especially the first, it has an eerie 'painted' feeling indeed.
Wonderful photos and welcome to TPF!
Love this effect! Thanks for sharing your technique and results with us :)
Yea good stuff, these are well processed........ well done to your model too for keeping so still....... good use of HDR all round, very creative :thumbup:
kelox said:
What the heck is HDR!!!!!!!!!! I've seen that acronym bandied about for some time now.

I've never seen that acronym, so I, too, would like to know what it is!

Very interesting portraits though! :D
I've got the same question, what is HDR and DOF?Thanks in advance!:sexywink:
Archangel said:
I'v answered this several times before........ here's a link to one of my HDRs, scroll down for the explination ;) ....... anyone can pm me if you need further info.

Thanks ArchAngel! I really appreciate the explanation! I remember that thread of yours, but I don't remember reading the explanation. THAT case, I know exactly what it is, just didn't know the terminology. :) Thanks again! :D
brilliant!!!! i love them! how good are you !!!!!!!!! xx looking forward to seeing more.. & maybe even attempting something like this myself x........actually have just gone back up to read how you did it and think i may give it a miss - a bit too high tech for meer ameteur! will leave this up to you xx

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