Sun, Surf, and HDR

One of the great things about writing this blog is that I have been taking the time to review and categorize my prior work. In doing this review, I noticed how much I have been using high dynamic range (HDR) in the last two years, or more accurately, I have been taking pictures using automatic exposure bracketing (AEB) so as to allow HDR processing later. The image in this post is one such example, and one of the more successful attempts.

Kortum Trail

View from a hike along the Kortum Trail

In my effort to revisit and reassess my photographs, I have also been finding the AEB sets and seeing which images work best with the HDR processing. In this process, I have found that more often than not, the actual issues I was encountering in post processing were traceable to several things that I was not managing well at the time of image capture. Here are the most important take-away’s:

  • Using a tripod is the most important step. This gives the best, sharpest images and does not rely on using software to align the images. I usually have my tripod, but…
  • I noticed that I did not always cover the full range when bracketing. I should have paid more attention to the histograms. Darn you Mr. Histogram!

I was starting to think I should write up some of my lessons learned, but then I ran into a geat blog by Dmitrii Lezine. He has put together an HDR 101 section that I think captures best practices that, had I followed, would have saved me a lot of headaches! It covers the two critical steps at image capture time and more!


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