To me high dynamic range imagery is like turbulence in the sky
We are experiencing it one minute but gone the next. In recent times everyone has jumped on the Photomatix bandwagon and producing over-baked, poorly composed and utter crap imagery. But luckily its not all negative with there being those using it to their advantage and you wouldnt even pick that HDR has been used and this is how it should be. However where do you draw the line?
Just for anyone unfamiliar with HDR then here is a bad example[link]
At times I have occasionally received comments from people saying that some of my photography is "photoshopped". This is frustrating especially when the photograph isnt edited and instead the colours and light which nature provides us is the real "photoshopping". I would like to explain my thoughts on editing and the means which I use that are no doubt similar to others.
For those unaware, when you take a photograph with a dslr camera you have the option of shooting in JPEG or RAW. I believe the point and shoot range is also slowly adopting the RAW format. To keep it quite simple, such format allows greater control of your image from colour temperature, shadows, exposure, contrast and so fourth. This format is used instead of JPEG because upon taking a photograph with a JPEG the camera automatically enhances your image with sharpening and other adjustments. For this reason people shoot RAW so they can edit the file accordingly. At times upon taking a photograph in the RAW format its apparent that the file may not reflect the scene with contrast, saturation and other things being a little off. For this reason, photographers in the digital age have no choice but to adjust these things which was also made possible in the traditional darkroom. But its apparent to some that this is cheating but in comparison how do we define people who may add and remove objects, change skies, etc which truly dont reflect the scene which was originally captured. There is capturing an image in camera and calling it photography but capturing somewhere how it didnt appear is a whole new ball game. This to me is photo manipulation which is fine but please don't pretend your image is straight off the camera as it's a little more obvious then you think.
Here are three of my popular photographs un-edited and straight from the camera.
I understand that we must embrace the digital age and the advantages which it brings but also at the same time we must not neglect traditional photography. Just because youve taken a bad photograph, this doesnt mean running it through Photomatix will somehow make it any better. Work on the composition of the image and then consider how you can use HDR to your advantage. Could HDR be the new selective desaturation? Ride the trend properly and dont make excuses to use HDR because it wont make your photograph any better.
I would be interested to hear peoples thoughts? Do you share the same view and believe HDR is getting a little over the top? Or do you differ and love the imagery that looks like it's out of a computer game?
wow that's deep.