I had heard of HDR, read about it in books, and eventually understood when some of the images I was looking at had been made via HDR technique. But I was really quite unaware of the details around how HDR really worked. To be quite honest, many of the HDR images I had seen were so disappointing that I really wasn’t that interested in finding out. Disappointing in that it all seemed to be about the technique taking centre stage rather than the image in its totality.
I found out that there was an HDR enthusiast coming to NZ on holiday with his family – Trey Ratcliff who blogs of his various travel and photography adventures here Stuck in Customs he was coming here late Feb and March, and had kindly volunteered to host a couple of Photowalk and Talk sessions, one in Auckland and one in Christchurch. I put my hand up to volunteer to help with the Christchurch one and a date was set for 6pm Thurs 4th March.
It was lovely to meet Trey and his family (I made a point of thanking his wife for her patience and benevolence which she very gracefully laughed off). Trey did an excellent photowalk, explained what he was doing and why, let us look through his lens to see his setup and was generally very obliging.
His talk was also excellent, and very educational and enlightening. It left me with a much great respect and understanding for HDR. In fact I was kicking myself as the AEB functionality would have added so much more to the sunset images I had taken earlier in the week!
I certainly can see where HDR could be used to advantage. I liked learning about the AEB, and also how you could even do some HDR with a single RAW image.
However I have seen so many unimpressive HDR images, I am wary of dipping my toe in that pool. Like anything you have to learn a lot and practice a lot before you get better and I’m not sure I want to spend that much time with HDR, and I certainly don’t want to produce crap either.
So I might have a play with the demo version Photomatix and see what I come up with.
I want to go back and reshoot one building with better sky and will post up my images once I have come up with something (hopefully) acceptable.
It was a pleasure to meet Trey who was an extremely nice and patient guy (taking precious time out of a family holiday), and to learn a new photography subject from someone for whom it is a passion. I hope they enjoy the rest of their holiday and the weather treats them well.
Also thanks to all the other people at the Photowalk, I met many new local photographers, and much information and help was shared, which was greatly appreciated. I look forward to seeing you again at future events 🙂