Project 52- Week 12

Hello Everyone!  Happy Friday!

This week's theme for our Project 52 Blog Circle is HDR (High Dynamic Range).  For those of you reading this that are not familiar with the technical side of photography, HDR means nothing to you.  For my fellow photographers, these three letters together may make you cringe.  

According to our friends at SLR Lounge, "High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography produces an image with a broader range of tonal detail than would normally be produced by a single image from your average camera."  Unfortunately, as expensive as all of our cameras are, they are still not capable of capturing what our eyes actually see all in one shot.  HDR sounds awesome because it allows you to see more detail and more tonal ranges in an image, however, it is often abused and waaaay overdone.  

HDR tends to work much better for landscape photography, but can be used in portrait work.  One approach is to take three seperate images of the same scene (one underexposed, one correctly exposed, and one overexposed) and combine them in post processing.  There are also techniques and software that you can use in post processing to apply an HDR look to a single image.

I chose to do the latter.  I tried both auto exposure bracketing and the actual HDR creative mode on my camera and neither produced images I was actually able to use.  Allow me to clarify...it was definitely the USER not the equipment.  Turns out trying to get a dog to sit completely still for more than one second while handholding a camera completely still for more than one second is nearly impossible!  ;)  So, I had to dig into my archives and find an image that I could use to attempt this technique in post.  

When searching through my files, I was looking for an image that was underexposed a bit so that I still had all of the detail in the sky.  I saw this image of Jazz and knew it would be the perfect example for me to work on.  At first glance, this image may look like a throw away since it is pretty underexposed, the angle is off, and there are several distractions, but I could see the potential.

I love a bright image with a lot of color and contrast, so I edited the image how I would normally edit it.  

Then, I gave it my best attempt at an HDR treatment.  I wanted it to have an HDR feel, but without being glaringly obvious.

As you can see, this image has a lot more clarity, vibrance, and saturation.  Hopefully you get the idea behind HDR without going over the top.

It is by no means a true HDR image (or really an HDR image at all), but it was my best attempt.  I think it is safe to say that I will likely not be offering HDR images in the near future...or ever.  :)  Hats off to those photographers who make HDR look gooood!  Next up, check out Jessica Wasik with Bark & Gold Photography, celebrating the joy and love between Pittsburgh pets and their people, to see how she tackeled HDR!

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