Trend: HDR

There is a popular new trend in amateur photography right now: High Dynamic Range, or HDR. The technique uses software to combine a number of images of the same scene made at different exposures, then extracting highlights from the frame exposed for the highlights, shadows from the frame exposed for the shadows, and so on. It can even be used to combined different renderings of the same frame edited to two or more different exposure settings. The result has the potential to be quite amazing, but like of lot of “amazing” tricks in the world of digital photography, it can be misused, and often is overused. I know at least one blogger who, lately, renders pretty much all of his photos using this technique.

The truth about HDR is that it is a gimmick that might be useful a couple of times a year. It can’t take the place of good imaging, and in some cases can ruin some otherwise excellent photos. It should definitely be used with restraint.

Delicate Arch Sunset, October 2005
Delicate Arch Sunset, October 2005

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