If you spend any time on websites like Flickr or Google Plus, you will probably run across some photos that have some unique colors and lighting effects. The photos you see above are examples of HDR photography. HDR stands for “high dynamic range.” HDR photos have a tremendous amount of detail as well as interesting vivid colors.
One Saturday morning I woke up early from a wild dream, so I decided I didn’t wasn’t interested in going back to sleep. I started thinking about how I have always wanted to experiment with “night photography.” So, I quickly got out of bed and grabbed my tripod and drove to downtown Kearney. I figured if I went early in the morning, there would be very little traffic and I wouldn’t be dealing with pedestrians walking in front of my camera. So, I started shooting and was happy with the photos when I was finished with them. I took these pictures between six and seven am in the morning, using the proper HDR technique.
HDR adds a surreal look to an otherwise average photo. What is enjoyable is you can play with the colors when you get your photos home and start editing them in your computer. For example, the top photo was created with a more yellow cast and shows the old Fort Theater. The second photo of the Museum of Nebraska Art (MONA) has a more pink cast and seems a little more mellow than the top photo. Different moods can be evoked by experimenting with different filters and adjusting the colors.
If you want to learn how to create photos like this using your own SLR camera, there is more detailed information available. My blog has more details about how these particular photos were taken. To visit my blog click here. If you want to learn more about HDR photography, there are some great tutorials available. My favorite tutorial that teaches HDR photography well is by Rob Hanson. To see the first tutorial, click here. Or, if you are looking for a great book about HDR you can order “The Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Digital Photography” by Ferrell McCollough.
If you have a pretty good foundation about basic photography and photo manipulation already, you will find HDR photography is a lot less complicated than it looks. If any of you try doing this on you own, I would love to take a peek at your finished photos. Experimenting with HDR photography is always a fun adventure.
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If you would like to look at more central Nebraska photos, click on the following link: