HDR Photography: Remembering Larkspur's World

In summary, the photographer wanted to create a picture reminiscent of Maxfield Parish, but was not able to achieve the same level of contrast and dynamic range in their picture as Larkspur was able to. They used Auto Exposure Bracketing to artificially add over and under exposure to their picture, but eventually realized that RAW was preferable because it allowed for more editing.
  • #1
Remembering this post:

Borek said:
I have found this guy accidentally.


As someone said about Larkspur - I would like to live in the world as he sees it.

Larkspurs pictures are always so rich on color, almost too saturated but especially the dynamic range from light to dark are so well balanced. Too bad she doesn't drop by anymore.

So I want to live in that world too and I was going over all my summer pics, like this one:


That's the whole frame, straight from the RAW file, no corrections. The idea was to try and get a Maxfield Parish kind of lighting, shooting straigt into the morn ing sun.

Maybe not bad, but nowhere near Larkspur's world. The dynamic range of the subject is too much to capture in full. We need something with High Dynamic Ranging, together with some color managing to improve that.

HDR is usually done with several pictures -at least three-, identical except for different exposures. However not a lot of models freeze for several pix and a tripod is not always practicable, but we can emulate three exposures from one by changing the output of the raw processing, one underexposed and one overexposed:


Alo the colors have been made more saturated to emulate more what the eye seems rather than what the camera sees.

So when we merge these three pix with HDR software (I use GIMP with plug ins for that) as a result we get a little closer to Larkspurs world where all parts are now much closer to an ideal contrast:


But you can't win them all, as the HDR software did not like the morning fog as seemingly over exposed and got rid of it.
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  • #2
Perhaps you forgot, but we have been there:

  • #3
No I remember that one, very sad that I lost the orginal of that picture due to a computer crash. Yes, I know all about backups. Currently I have two external hard disks with backups
  • #4
Here is another one, at the first beams of the sunrise.

The unedited raw:


and after a HDR pass and also cloning away the telephone pole and wires


but maybe that's over the top.
  • #5
Cool! I've wondered what the HDR settings on my camera do... Do I have to use RAW with this technique?
  • #6
Not sure about your Sony A900, but I think it allows several options for Auto Exposure Bracketing making 3, 4 or 5 consecutive shots with different selectable (bracketable) exposure speeds (same aperture and ISO). With the appropriate software these exposures can be merged later to an HDR composition. No need to make them in RAW, JPG is fine.

However if you use a single shot, as I did, to smear out the dynamic range, adding artificial over- and under exposure, then RAW is preferable, because it allows for more editting.

Edit; the picture was submitted to this challenge. Observing the pix in there carefully, you see details in both extreme light and dark situations. However you know when you overdid the HDR, when the clouds are getting near black.
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Related to HDR Photography: Remembering Larkspur's World

1. What is HDR photography?

HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography is a technique used to capture images with a wider range of light and dark tones than a traditional camera can capture. It involves combining multiple photos of the same scene taken at different exposures to create a final image with more detail and depth.

2. How is HDR photography different from regular photography?

Regular photography captures a limited range of light and dark tones, resulting in some areas of the photo being overexposed (too bright) or underexposed (too dark). HDR photography combines multiple photos taken at different exposures to create a final image with a more balanced and realistic range of tones.

3. What equipment is needed for HDR photography?

To create HDR images, you will need a digital camera with manual exposure settings, a tripod to keep the camera steady, and HDR software to merge the multiple photos into one final image. Some smartphones also have built-in HDR features.

4. What are the benefits of using HDR photography?

HDR photography allows you to capture more detail and depth in your photos, resulting in a more realistic and visually appealing image. It is especially useful for capturing landscapes, architecture, and other scenes with a wide range of light and dark elements.

5. Are there any downsides to using HDR photography?

One potential downside of HDR photography is the time and effort it takes to capture and process the multiple photos. It also requires a high level of technical skill and knowledge to produce a well-executed HDR image. Additionally, some people find that HDR images can look unnatural or overly processed if not done correctly.

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