Thursday, March 3, 2011

Battle of the HDR Photo Tips Round 4: Ratcliff vs. Sammon. Today: Time.

Photograph by Trey Ratcliff
It's Round 4 of the week-long Battle of the HDR Photo Tips: Trey Ratcliff vs. Rick Sammon. Thank you for joining us ringside.

Hey, if you want to have some fun, do a Google search: I hate HDR. Post a comment here on my blog. Let us know what you think.

Trey Ratcliff is some dude on the internet that runs Stuck in Customs. His mom visits his blog every day. If people leave bad comments, then his mom gets 'em.

Rick Sammon was at Woodstock and still tries to maintain the PLJ feeling of the '60s. He also scuba dived in Lake Baikal, Sibera, where he photographed the nerpa.

Here we go:
Ratcliff: Most of the time, when you shoot HDR photos, you’ll be taking multiple exposures. So, you often end up with the old “ghosting” problem in which an object changes its XY across the plane.

I contend that you don’t have to worry about that if you want to give the impression of time flowing. This bleeds into my discussion about impressionist feelings within photos. Yes, photography is about stopping time, normally, but it doesn’t have to be.

If you are taking an HDR of a moving river or flowing steam (like below), then I like to allow the ghosting to remain. It gives a feeling of movement and time, and that’s a nice thing to communicate in a photo.

Photograph by Rick Sammon. We shoot here on my Croton Creative fall workshop.
Sammon: Uh.... I totally agree with my buddy Trey. :-)

In addition: 

• When trying to capture moving water, clouds, mist and fog (and even car lights at night), use long shutter speeds - maybe between 2 and 10 seconds. Experiment with different slow shutter speeds, because the speed of moving water, clouds, etc. is not always the same.

• Of course, you'll need a tripod when shooting at slow shutter speeds.

• Use a cable release or your camera's self-timer, so you don't need to touch the camera when the shutter is released. Mirror lock-up is a feature that can help you get sharp shots for long-exposure photography.

• Want a really cool camera controller for HDR? Check out the Promote Controller:


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To learn more about Trey's HDR work, click here.

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To learn more about my latest HDR project, Rick Sammon's HDR Portfolio app for the iPad, click here.

Explore the light,

P.S. I just doubled the HDR fun!


JimmyD said...

Great tips guys! Think both of you are top notch!

Rick, I ran the Google search and was not too surprised at the results. What some people, on both sides of the camera, don't consider is that the HDR process is simply a tool for producing an image, not the image itself. The image is the thing. A good image is good whether it's HDR or not, and a bad image is bad, whether HDR or not.

On top of that, the judge of what's good and what's bad is unique to the individual. I help moderate a Flickr group based on HDR and some of the images really, and I mean really, hurt my eyes to view. But the same images are likely to have 20-30 comments complimenting the photographer on the image. It truly is in the eyes of the beholder.

Hard to believe some people would devote so much effort to hating period, much less something that is totally avoidable if desired.

Thanks Rick!


Bill Mueller said...

Another great shot Rick. I love the almost single color look. How did you get that?

Rick Sammon said...

Bill - I shot on an overcast day. Cool light. I also boosted the blue in Photoshop.

Thank you,

Tom Baker said...

HDR is great for creating that smooth silky movement in the water without necessarily needing a filter ND filter. Even if you process the image to look very natural you still gain the look of moving water and retain all the detail in the shadows. Good tip.

Sheylynne said...

I did the Google search. I only read the first article because I love HDR. The most awesome part was when the writer was talking about all the bad HDR photos out there and gave links to HDR landscapes photos and the Photomatix group in Flickr. I looked at some of the images and think they look great. So now I have a place to go when I need some inspiration.