High Dynamic Range Photography

This is an image that I processed for a fun game amongst Photographers called HDR Tennis. One of the group members shoots a series of shots with variable Exposure Values and posts them. Each of the “contestants” then uses whatever techniques at their disposal to fine tune the images to their particular vision. Note, we did not shoot this image but did have fun playing around with it and submitting it to the pool of candidates. We have many HDR Images ourselves on this Photoblog – just look them up using the Tag Cloud on the right margin. Now a bit about HDR.

In photography, high dynamic range imaging is a set of techniques that allows a greater dynamic range between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than current standard digital imaging techniques or photographic methods. This wide dynamic range allows HDR images to more accurately represent the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to faint starlight, and is often captured by way of a plurality of differently exposed pictures of the same subject matte . High dynamic range images are captured by taking several images of the same subject and varying exposure using bracketing. To start, one usually exposes -2, 0 +2EV and one uses special software, such as that from Photomatix, to combine the images. What is really important is that the camera remains perfectly still so the images can be blended without having unwanted “Ghosts”. To achieve this, you need a tripod and set the camera to aperture priority, take it off Auto-Focus and use a remote shutter release. Any small vibration between exposures will compromise the sharpness of the shot. In windy conditions, a weight (camera bag) can be used to weigh further stabilize the tripod. It is not that tricky and the results can be rather spectacular if one uses common sense during post processing – I have heard the term “Looks like Clown Puke” very often when HDR images get processed “over the top”.

We have been shooting HDR (depending on the situation) for quite a while – even for seascapes, which might seem counter-intuitive considering the emphasis on keeping things still. Waves do not obey this rule. If you have any questions, please feel free to drop us a note at We love feedback and answer all questions!

Happy Holidays, Erik and Kathleen

PS If you are curious about other Photographer’s interpretation of these shots see


4 responses

  1. I’ve tried my hand at some of the HDR Tennis brackets as well. You’ve processed this very well.

    December 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm

  2. Looks really cool. I like the slight distortion in the image.

    December 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s