Silhouette at the Beach

When modern, digital HDR photography hit the scene a few years back, it quickly became all the rage. It was now an easy prospect to capture gorgeous sky-scapes and dramatic still life images; balanced lighting was not just the arena of the pro.

But is it just me, or has it gone way too far? I am really getting tired of HDR these days... so many photos look "over-Photoshopped" and lose any veracity, in my opinion.

What happened to capturing an image they way it actually appeared? Is there going to be an HDR backlash?

Your thoughts?

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Photo credits: David Webb.
  • Davewebbphoto
  • Vancouver, Canada
David Webb is a travel writer and adventure photographer based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. His work appears in Explore, British Columbia Magazine, acrossandabroad.com, Destination Canada and more.

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March 27, 2012

To use or not to use .....): ....?????.


March 27, 2012

HDR is a new scientific technique to treat the photos aimed to increase color performance of an image. So it is a "tool" and as all the tools it can be used well or misused, especially by those who are not sufficiently aware of all the features.
My feeling is that in a picture is more important the content than form. The form should only aim to value more the content.


March 27, 2012

I have the same opinion as Igor has. Another argument it is that you can choose who much surrealistic effect you can give to the picture and actually, with the help of HDR technique you can create a realistic picture by not having too much over or underexposed zones.

I'm still learning to create HDR images.


March 26, 2012

I can understand you: if one processes RAW(s) unskillfully resulting image can look unnaturaly and does not attract attention. 'Effect just for effect' is a wrong way when making images.

On the other hand 'capturing an image they way it actually appeared' is a wrong way, as well (on my opinion). Or, more precisely speaking, it's just an illusion. Sensor and human eyes are things that are absolutely different. RAW file stored on card is inevitably artifical thing. For instance: if I look at a landscape with forest and skies BY EYES I can distiguish both trees and clouds and any detail. Now I am taking a shot and get either dark forest with no details, at all or white sky. So, some processing is just necessary, isn't it? I guess it just a question of taste.

Besides, let's consider painting. Are paintings of Paul C├ęzanne 'images they way it actually appeared'? Obviously, NO. Since ANY painting represents just a bit of colored matter on some surface. But nobody (or almost nobody) says they are 'over-painted' or something of the sort :) So, why approach to photopicture perception must differ from one to painting perception?

HDR can not be good or bad thing itself. But it can be wrong or right way to apply it.


March 26, 2012

There is an excellent article on Luminous Landscape called ***.com that explores why Art doesn't need to depict reality, but at the same time why commercial and other types of photography need to stay grounded in reality. I'm not a fan of HDR, both from the technical aspect at time of capture to the tendency to overdo it...but I don't have a problem with anyone who wants to use it in their work :)


March 26, 2012

I agree with you, every single magazine and ad we see are full of over photoshopped images, all artists and fashion models look very different from what they really are... We are losing the creativity of taking photos, since they can always be modified in the computer...