What is HDR?


TPF Noob!
Dec 18, 2009
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Cheshire, UK
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My understanding of HDR is that every part of the image is exposed correctly, which can create some interesting effects.

However i have a friend who is always posting his 'hdr' shots on facebook and when i look at them i always think.. thats not HDR?

Is my understanding that HDR, high dynamic range, is a method used to merge different exposures into one image to properly expose all areas of a photo correct?

Here are some of his images which he calls HDR

Source: Daniel 'Dopey Dan' Hipkiss Photography


Hmmm.. no.. Maybe he used HDR effect filter or something. But they may be HDR if he did not bracket it correctly due to really low light.
Hmmm.. no.. Maybe he used HDR effect filter or something. But they may be HDR if he did not bracket it correctly due to really low light.

Is that a no to what i think.. or to those images?
you need to ask your friend the following; how many exposures did he use, what program did the merging and what steps did he follow after that; as these are not a good example of what the technique is good for.

if done correctly we should be able to see detail within the highlights and the shadows (altho, you may already know that )

Hdr should be done when the exposure range is longer than the sensor is able to record; which of course these images seem to fit that need, but he isn't doing a good job of using his tools.

ps.it is this kind of work (along with a few other things ) that give HDR a bad rap imho
HDR means High Dynamic Range. It is a technique of shooting a scene having very bright and very dark elements so that there is detailed image in both ranges. Generally 3 shots are required but more can be done depending on the detail you want. One underexposed, one normal exposure and one overexposed. All the camera settings remain untouched for each shot except for the shutter speed. Using software such as Photomatix Pro, Photoshop CS2 and others you are able to combine the different exposures together producing an image which has details in all areas of the photo. A tripod is recommended but careful hand held shots are possible when using Photomatix Pro. In the example below the 3 photos on the left were shot at f13.6, ISO 64 and the top one had a shutter speed of .8 sec. The middle was 1/10 sec. The third was 1/40 sec.
To say those two photos are HDR would be like giving a paintbrush to a monkey and calling the result a Rembrandt.

Ah if someone had used Google search he would've received a vast array of great wisdom but most important the answers you seek would be
right in front of you with just a simple click including pictures. Do all of us a favor smack your friend around a few times for us. People like that taking half ass pictures not having a dam clue as to what they are doing give's the scene a bad name and lead's to confusion. Those are not hdr's as bynx mentioned a chimp took them. This same question has been asked by so many others. This thread is pointless. Next time around google,yahoo or whatever prior to coming into an HDR forum only to ask what is HDR that is oxymoron. <<<< it's a word describing the situation not a personal insult google that also.
Unfortunately, the popular trend is to take a single image and tone map the hell out of it until it looks cartoonish with halos and unreal colors. The best HDR pictures are the ones you cannot tell are HDR.
This is also an example why the mention of HDR sends folks into moaning about this technique.
Well they probably dont call him "Dopey Dan" for nothing. By the looks of his (and I hate to say this) HDR shots, its a name well earned.

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