Tuesday, July 10, 2007

HDR for Pretty Girl Shooting?

For the past few days, I've been reading quite a bit about HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography. For the most part, it seems HDR techniques are applied to landscape and cityscape photos. But I'm thinking HDR, or some of it's processes, might work for shooting models.

Most shooters going after that HDR look do so by snapping multiple exposures (bracketing with under and over exposure settings) and then, either with stand-alone software like PhotoMatrix or HDR tools available in the latest editions of Photoshop, apply tone mapping processes to increase the dynamic range of the images.

Another way to accomplish the HDR look is by shooting images in RAW and then converting multiple versions of the same image using + and - EV (exposure compensation) settings. This would seem to be the ideal method for applying HDR techniques to pretty girl shooting. Otherwise, you would need to have the model remain very still while you snapped multiple exposures.

I tried applying some of the HDR techniques I've recently learned to some pics I shot but I wasn't too happy with the results: They looked a bit garish. Oh well. Something to continue working on I suppose.

The pretty girl at the top is Brea. I shot Brea not too long ago and she was a real sweetheart to work with.

4 comments:

IllOgical said...

Bwah, HDR is highly overrated and highly abused.

Use a tripod, slap a ND filter on your lens, and you can get more "realistic" results instead of those overdone super/hyper realistic looking images. This fits some images, but definately not all.

Oko said...

I've made several attempts at applying HDR to my own pretty girl shooting with no success. As you reported, the results don't look good at all.

I'm guessing simply that HDR is fantastic for areas where you cannot control the environment to insure it is consistently and properly exposed. This allows you to capture the details you would normally lose - resulting in a much richer photo.

In the studio though the dynamic range is tightly controlled - each part of the photo (at least in theory) already perfectly exposed through careful lighting and planning.

As a result, you're not missing the details that HDR would bring in - so I'm guessing HDR as a technique can't contribute much to the quality of the final photo in a controlled studio environment.

Robert said...

Many people operate under the mistaken idea that you can create a HDR image from multiple outputs of a single raw shot. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a free lunch. The best short explanation that I have found is here: http://www.hdrsoft.com/resources/dri.html#raw

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