High Dynamic Range (HDR) – A Fad or a Growing Trend?

My Own Peace of Mind by Equinoxe7HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography has grown wildly in popularity over the past few years.  With the drop in prices of dSLR cameras, the ability to take the same photo at different exposures has allowed for a unique effect, that allows a wider dynamic range.

However, as the trend spreads, it also draws critique from many photographers as being “fake” and not capturing the true essence of the photograph.  Critics argue that the art of photography is capturing a moment in time at a given exposure, and that the inability to see all of the dynamic range is part of that art.

What do you think?  Is HDR just another fad among photographers that will soon be history?  Or is HDR an artform that is here to stay?  Let us know in the comments section.  Also, if you enjoy the post, submit it to your favorite social networking site.  It’s really appreciated.

Definition and History:

In image processing, computer graphics, and photography, high dynamic range imaging (HDRI or just HDR) is a set of techniques that allows a greater dynamic range of luminances between light and dark areas of a scene than normal digital imaging techniques. The intention of HDRI is to accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes ranging from direct sunlight to shadows.

High dynamic range imaging was originally developed in the 1930s and 1940s by Charles Wyckoff. Wyckoff’s detailed pictures of nuclear explosions appeared on the cover of Life magazine in the mid 1940s. The process of tone mapping together with bracketed exposures of normal digital images, giving the end result a high, often exaggerated dynamic range, was first reported in 1993, and resulted in a mathematical theory of differently exposed pictures of the same subject matter that was published in 1995. In 1997 this technique of combining several differently exposed images to produce a single HDR image was presented to the computer graphics community by Paul Debevec.

This method was developed to produce a high dynamic range image from a set of photographs taken with a range of exposures. With the rising popularity of digital cameras and easy-to-use desktop software, the term HDR is now popularly used to refer to this process. This composite technique is different from (and may be of lesser or greater quality than) the production of an image from a single exposure of a sensor that has a native high dynamic range. Tone mapping is also used to display HDR images on devices with a low native dynamic range, such as a computer screen.

Here’s some tutorials for the interested photographers, along with some inspiration for you at the bottom.

Tutorials:

Ultimate HDR Guide

Ultimate HDR Guide

Step By Step HDR Tutorial

Step By Step HDR Tutorial

New & Improved HDR Tutorial (2008)

New & Improved HDR Tutorial (2008)

HDR Workflow

HDR Workflow

Landscape HDR Tutorial

Landscape HDR Tutorial

HDR from 1 JPEG

HDR from 1 JPEG

HDR Workshop

HDR Workshop

Inspiration:

Icarus Undone by Peter Vanallen

Icarus Undone by Peter Vanallen

http://www.flickr.com/photos/iceman9294/2830511892/

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