I’ve been dabbling a bit lately with HDR photography. if you are unfamiliar with what HDR means – it is quite straight forward. HDR photography is high dynamic range photography.

For some time now I’ve been aware of photos that I’ve found on the ‘net that really leap out and almost slap you in the face because of their high contrast and vibrant colours. Some images that I’ve seen are, to my eye at least, OTT – over the top; some verging on cartoonish – but for the most part all are quite artistic.

Of course HDR photography isn’t really photography as such. It is what you do with the images after they have been taken in post processing.

In this post there is a series of pictures taken at the Clifden Suspension Bridge to which I have applied an HDR effect using Perfect Effects Free.

More recently I have been trying out a few other HDR software packages, and have been learning more about “true” HDR, which is creating a high dynamic range image using three (or more) separate exposures of a single subject.

The photo of the Catholic Basilica in Invercargill is one of my first attempts at triple exposure HDR – and I am quite pleased with the result. I think have managed to create an image that has added vibrancy and colours and almost a sense of the dramatic.

For the most part I have managed to avoid the dreaded halo effect which occurs with a lot of HDR photos. Their is some hint of it around the outline of the tree’s foliage. The halo effect shows as considerably lighter colours around darker, more solid parts of the image, without ending up with a garish looking picture.

The tree bent by the wind was processed using Photomatix Pro 5. This has become my package of choice after trialling several packages including EasyHDR, Oloneo HDR and HDR Darkroom 3. It is also possible to create HDR photos using Photoshop Elements 11 – but I had very poor outcomes with Elements.

I am indebted to Trey Ratcliff for the inspiration I have taken from his HDR work.

Rusty nut - Clifden Suspension Bridge
Rusty nut – Clifden Suspension Bridge
nuts and timber construction clifden suspension bridge near tuatapere southland new zealand
Nuts and timber
old seed drill on the roadside
Old seed drill on the roadside
a tree bent by the prevailing winds
Wonderful windblown tree

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