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A lot has changed in the nearly two hundred years since the first photograph was taken. And aside from the obvious technical advances in cameras and how they work, perhaps it’s today’s societal attitudes towards photography that are most remarkable. When the art and science of photography first came into existence, it was viewed as neither. While there was a definite fascination surrounding it, it was viewed by many with distrust, fear, and even hatred. Some even believed the camera was capable of “stealing” one’s sole and that it should be avoided at all cost. Others believed it was inferior to popular art of the time such as fine paintings, drawings and sculptures.

To say the least, time’s have changed and dramatically so. Photography is now a highly respected and sought after art and science that is used for both creative and scientific purposes. And beyond that, is also an important form of visual communication. Just think of all the ways in which iconic photographs have changed the world, sparking positive change in terms of human rights, environmental protective laws, and raising awareness about other important issues. No wonder why it’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words!

And one of the most exciting things about the evolution of photography is, well, it’s constantly evolution; it constantly changing and for the better. New photographing and processing techniques are always being developed to breathe even more life into photographs and give them that much more character and depth. So just imagine — if a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words make up pictures created with stunning HDR processing?

What is HDR photography and HDR processing?

HDR photography stands for high dynamic range photography, and that’s exactly what the goal of HDR processing is; it increase the visual dynamics and texture in order to make more captivating and engaging. HDR photography works by bracketing, a process in which the same image is taken at different shutter speeds, both overexposed and underexposed. During HDR processing, all of these images are then layered together to create a single, final image that has dramatic depth, detail, texture, and contrast.

HDR processing tips

Here are a few tips for stunning HDR photographs taken and processed by you!

Have a basic understanding of photography

If you don’t have at least have a basic understanding of what makes a good picture good, then moving onto more advanced photographic techniques such as HDR will be a lot harder than it needs to be. After all, a poorly composed shot will look just as bad or worse when it’s processed in HDR. It pays to understand the principles of proper photo styling techniques, such as composition, hierarchy, panorama stitching, and portrait photo editing photo cropping. Bracketing, which is the crux of HDR photography, will be easier for you too.

Remember your tripod

This is where having an understanding of photography comes into play, but even professional photographers might forget about their tripods every once in a while. Tripods not only work to stabilize the camera while it captures an image, but they’re especially important when it comes to bracketing and HDR because each frame will need to line up perfectly in order to truly bring out that range of highlights and lowlights to create depth.

Know when enough is enough

HDR photograph is great for sunrises, sunsets, architecture, and other man made objects. But please, don’t over do it. Although every artist has the right to creative expression and your style may very well align itself with the super saturated intensity of HDR photography, many professional photographers within the community feel it’s best in small doses. There are concerns that digital processing techniques will slowly begin to chip away at the authenticity that is such an important part of photography. So keep in mind that HDR is best for some shots, not all.

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