I've read about and seen HDR (high dynamic range) photographs for a little while now. Being that tomorrow will be the third day in a row that I am off of work due to the monumental snow we are experiencing, I decided to read up and experiment. I figured it would be fun to document and share this experience. Who knows how it might work its way into my everyday photography. Okay, every week-ish photography...
So, first I found an amazing HDR tutorial on Twitter. I read through the entire thing, pausing for ample time on the photographs as is my usual style. Then I decided to try it on for size. HDR requires extra software I did not own, so I downloaded a trial version of Photomatix, which lets me use the program for as long as I like. It does put lovely watermarks on the photo.
I followed the steps in the tutorial and decided to work with pictures of Rio de Janeiro that I took on Christmas day 2009, my first day in Brazil. I had three photos I took at Sugarloaf when I was having difficulty capturing the scene in all its glory. Each individual picture didn't quite do it, and I remembered that there was a method (HDR) involving bracketing and post-processing that would allow me to keep the details in the light and dark areas of the photo.
It was pretty simple to create the HDR. I am sure that applying the various settings will get easier over time and that I will develop my own personal style. For now, I am happy just seeing my first HDR image. I tweaked it a little in Lightroom when I was finished. See above for the HDR image and below for the three original files. Now should I invest in an HDR program, so I can create these images without the watermarks seen above?