This is the second part of my HDR revisit. Now, I left off the last post with a fairly realistic image of a building. I had mentioned that if this were for a client shoot, they probably would not want their building glowing like something from outer space. However, if that’s the look you’re going for then this is where HDR gets fun.
I chose the building above because I liked the differing lines, texture and colour. However, the initial exposure was kind of flat, as you can see from the original RAW file. That was okay though because with all the building’s attributes I had already decided that this would make a pretty good “wild-side” HDR image.
I purposely pushed things much further than necessary here to show how wild you can go. All you need is some imagination. You can really pull out some texture in the building along with the glowing fantasy look. Probably a little too many halos around the building, but in this case it serves my purpose of playing around with HDR to demonstrate its wilder side.
In the image above I sort of had a few things working against me. The sun was coming up behind the building creating a flat, washed out sky. If I took the exposure down a little bit I would get a better sky, but then the building and foreground would have been underexposed.
Once again, playing around HDR can introduce that fantasy look and completely change the mood of the image. Again, it’s fun to play and see what you can do. I really like the composition, but the blown out highlights and lack of texture in the building needed some work. In this case I think HDR was good choice… well at least it was the fun choice.
HDR can be fun to play with and you can produce some really natural looking images along with some really wild ones. I can see how it can become addicting for some (i.e., wanting to “HDR” every image); however, I still stand behind my rule of restraint. Look for the opportunity to use it and choose the best way to implement.