HDR is good. HDR is bad. Think what you want, HDR is here to stay, just like full body scans at the airport.
Part of this is because I’m such a purist. Ok, not really, but I like to pretend that I am sometimes. Really, it’s because I just haven’t devoted any time to it yet. Like anything else, becoming proficient with HDR takes time, and between photographing, writing, playing outside and flying the little yellow Cessna, I find myself a little short on that stuff.
Anyway, while in Seldovia this weekend, I came across what seemed to be a perfect scene for HDR experimentation. Resting my Nikon D700 w/ 24mm f/2.8 lens on the bridge railing, I shot a series of images at different exposures down the slough and merged them together using the Adobe Photoshop CS5 “Merge to HDR Pro” command. After a few quick slider tweaks, I ended up with this shot above. (The lightest and darkest of the 5-image series are below.)
I like it, but I’m new at this. You can tell because it’s still pretty subtle. My purist side is keeping the reins tight, at least for now. I suppose I could have lightened the houses a little more. Let me know what you think. Should I go more drastic or does this work?
In the end, HDR is just a tool that offers increased creativity and I’m excited to keep experimenting with it and looking for possibilities where it might apply in my own photography.