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To HDR or not to HDR. That is the question.


digicammad 18 22.0k 40 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2010 12:50PM

Quote:Must admit that when I do HDR talks I, include a section on "how others use HDR" - the subtext is "HDR disasters" and it gets more gasps than any other section.


Hope none of mine are featured in your talk. Tongue

Ian
ade_mcfade 17 15.2k 216 England
15 Feb 2010 12:58PM
...think you're safe Ian Wink

couldn't possibly comment on where the photos came from !
collywobles 17 4.1k 10 United Kingdom
15 Feb 2010 4:00PM

Quote: HDR is a poor & mischevious substitute for photographic light control & management


Thats a bit strong, I see it as another tool in photography to create an type og image. I consider some of the HDR shots on this site are amongst the best images here. Colin Grin
James_G 14 166 5
15 Feb 2010 5:33PM
I have no problem with people using HDR, I know that some use it to great effect, but as with all processing sometimes less is more. The Lichfield Cathedral pic that started this thread is a pretty good example of HDR used badly. Even without the tag-line, surely anyone could see it was HDR? I recently commented on someone else's HDR pic saying I thought it was OTT, which it was, but he's got loads of votes for it. There's a lot of support on EPZ for over-saturated HDR shots, people seem to like the falseness. Fair enough. That's their call.... doesn't make it good photography though.
James
Xiaoli 12 661 14 South Africa
16 Feb 2010 6:47AM
I quite agree with whoever said that it's the bad HDR pics that give it a bad name BUT as with focus stacking I do kind of feel like it is 'cheating'. (Please note I put the word in quotes.) As at the same time I also hold the belief that whatever goes in post-processing is fine with me LOL (Yes I am allowed to hold two contradictory opinions at the same time).

I guess for me it is that I actually just don't like those kind of landscapes just as I don't really like those flowy water ones with the long exposure so the water goes 'funny'. It just doesn't look natural to me. Actually to be honest regardless of whether the techniques used was specifically HDR or some other form of processing those landscapes with just a weeny too much detail in the foreground and middle ground and background with slightly 'over' colours just don't rock my boat. So it is entirely a personal preference.

Same with macro shots that are just too perfect. Again regardless of whether it is the result of focus stacking or just incredibly good lenses or whatever I just don't like them. They feel lifeless to me. My instinctive response is 'Nice but ...' and the but is usually 'it's too perfect' or a feeling of if I wanted a text book illustration then I will buy a text book.

Again totally a totally personal preference.

I have to say that I wouldn't ever expect some one NOT to use a technique because plenty of people DO like it that way and that is what makes it interesting. I like it this way and Joe Soap likes it that way.

Just asking the question posed for this thread is silly .. HDR your photos to an inch of their life if that is what you like. As for viewers some will like it, some will hate it and that is what the response will be regardless of whether you HDR, or focus stack, or manipulate, sharpen, blur, dodge, burn, RAW, jpg, whatever or not.
collywobles 17 4.1k 10 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2010 7:15AM

Quote:I recently commented on someone else's HDR pic saying I thought it was OTT, which it was, but he's got loads of votes for it. There's a lot of support on EPZ for over-saturated HDR shots, people seem to like the falseness


The falseness! - Just because you may not like it thats your opinion and you are entitled to it, as you said the image got lots of clicks and comments which shows how popular and 'normal' people consider it is, and that you are in the minority.

Like I said HDR is just another tool in our armoury to create different style of image - that does not mean to say it is wrong though. Its no different to other togs using unusual lighting, focus or exposure methods.
Xiaoli 12 661 14 South Africa
16 Feb 2010 7:58AM

Quote:Like I said HDR is just another tool in our armoury to create different style of image - that does not mean to say it is wrong though. Its no different to other togs using unusual lighting, focus or exposure methods.
Yup and some will like and some will not like ... that's life for ya!
James_G 14 166 5
16 Feb 2010 9:54AM

Quote:
The falseness! - Just because you may not like it thats your opinion and you are entitled to it, as you said the image got lots of clicks and comments which shows how popular and 'normal' people consider it is, and that you are in the minority.

Like I said HDR is just another tool in our armoury to create different style of image - that does not mean to say it is wrong though. Its no different to other togs using unusual lighting, focus or exposure methods.



You misread what I wrote: I said I had no problem with HDR, some use it very well. But others use it very badly. I never said it was wrong. I do, however, struggle to understand why so many people on EPZ appear to like HDR when it's used badly, but as I said originally that's their call and if I'm in the minority so be it.
James
ade_mcfade 17 15.2k 216 England
16 Feb 2010 1:38PM
HDR solves the problem of exposing for scenes where the dynamic range is larger than a camera can capture in one shot

its a godsend in many situations (waterfalls, house interiors, architecture etc.) - we should be happy its there to help, I really don't see what everyone gets to stressed about it.
RobboB Plus
14 133 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2010 1:48PM
On this basis Fuji Velvia is cheating, filters are cheating, cameras and lenses are cheating! I think this argument goes nowhere and in my view has no merit whatsoever.
ade_mcfade 17 15.2k 216 England
16 Feb 2010 1:51PM
Fair point

I guess if we are to define HDR as cheating, we also need a clear, unambiguous definition of what is "not cheating"

Once we can agree on that, we can then decide whether HDR is "cheating" or "not cheating"

PS - the BOLD/ITALIC/UNDERLINE buttons don't work any more
smackmyfish 11 82
16 Feb 2010 1:59PM
Is to HDR or not to HDR the new Canon/Nikon war?
16 Feb 2010 2:08PM
And then there is Contrast Masking......
It's a simple technique which I like to think of as photo-realistic HDR Smile
16 Feb 2010 2:15PM

Quote:I quite agree with whoever said that it's the bad HDR pics that give it a bad name BUT as with focus stacking I do kind of feel like it is 'cheating'. (Please note I put the word in quotes.) As at the same time I also hold the belief that whatever goes in post-processing is fine with me LOL (Yes I am allowed to hold two contradictory opinions at the same time).

Focus stacking - mmmm
Extreme DoF has been possible for years using field cameras and is still possible on DSLRs using tilt & shift lenses.
So focus stacking is just a 'convenient' way of achieving the same thing without expensive hardware.
Not sure that counts as cheating (even in quotes Wink)

Sounds just like the arguments we used to have over darkroom skills versus Photoshop manipulation.
ade_mcfade 17 15.2k 216 England
16 Feb 2010 2:24PM
Is using ZOOM lenses cheating, I mean, being able to change focal length is lazy and not pure, so must be cheating.

Also, what about filters? Ooooh - they must be evil surely?

And sharpening in software? Crikey - that must be second only to bestiality?

And using curves to enhance contrast... man, that's just sooo not cool, if the light wasn't there in reality, then just bin your efforts and go flog yourself with hawthorn bushes

Smile

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