HDR – best used sparingly w/ understanding

Outside the window
Untitled [Back Window]
Matt Niebuhr
2006

Colberg writes:
I am confused
Alright, I do realize that this post might tick off quite a few people, but here’s my question anyway: Am I the only one who thinks that
HDR photos mostly look like old colour postcards? (sorry for the probably non-ideal link to old postcards – if you know a better site, let me know) You basically get the same effect: The colours look gaudy and artificial, and the scenes look somewhat unreal, the only difference being that HDR photos look crisper.

I have to agree with the examples (from Flickr) of HDR offered up in the link from Jörg Colberg over on Conscientious – however, I am not so quick to discount some value to HDR… it depends upon how you approach the “output”…in my opinion…. (above example my own attempt).

Above is an HDR image. I think it works because for me I can’t sense that it is HDR. But, if you photograph under these lighting conditions (in digital mode) you’d have to do a film type of multiple exposure in order to get the light from inside wall surfaces to work with the amount of light outside coming through the window, otherwise in a conventional exposure – one area or the other would get over / under exposed.

So, I don’t discount HDR as a technique – I think may have its place but it is just that “a technique” a tool…along the way… not an end in my opinion….. I’ve got other examples tagged here.

The measure of “effect” on the final product – the photograph…. whether by digital filter or analogue filter – should not get in the way of the illusion contained with-in the surface…

It’s a like being jarred from the temporary suspension of disbelief of when you’re immersed in a movie.. you know by the Skittles the jerk behind you dropped that are now rolling under your feet…!

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