What is HDR and why do I use it? Simply put, it allows me to create images which are closer to what the eye and mind perceived at the given moment the photograph was taken. This is sometimes necessary when the dynamic range of the scene is greater than that which the camera is capable of capturing in a single image. HDR processing is usually accomplished by taking multiple exposures of the same scene and then using software to combine them. Hopefully the before and after images above demonstrate this concept. The after image is slightly exaggerated in its processing to show what is possible. The before image above is only the base exposure. Notice you are not even able to see the brick wall on the right. The overexposed images in the bracketed set would provide this detail. There are many people who don’t have a taste for HDR images and this seems fueled by the number of potentially poor ones that flood the scene. I’m still a fan if they are done well, although I’m still in the learning stages myself. It is actually now a recognized art form and holds a place in the Smithsonian. Please feel free to post additional questions as I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.
Here is the techy definition: High dynamic range imaging (HDRI or HDR) is a set of methods used in imaging and photography, to allow a greater dynamic range between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than current standard digital imaging methods or photographic methods. This wide dynamic range allows HDR images to represent more accurately the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to faint starlight, and is often captured by way of a plurality of differently exposed pictures of the same subject matter.