How dare you call what I do HDR!!!

So now that I am interacting with viewers of my work (at the local weekly markets) I have grown to discover how HDR photography has become a buzz word with even the amateur set.  I have no problem with my work being seen as having a high dynamic range of colors or tones – that is my goal.  

My issue is that I do not believe what these gurus call HDR is what I do.  I essentially see the light in a scene and try to capture all the 30,000 tones available so that I can essentially paint with whatever light I want (or can capture) – like a painter. 

These gurus are using software and simple bracketing to get a 32 bit image that could never be reproduced in a print.  Then using tone mapping or local-contract controls they create their HDR image with limited control based on algorithms – leaving a huge chunck of control of the image to the computer.  Click these links for one tutorial and another two tutorial.  I do not use any methods described by these tutorials.

What I do is see this new realm of photography as “Light Painting” as this is exactly how I approach my work.  I look forward to sharing much more on this topic.

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2 responses to “How dare you call what I do HDR!!!

  1. I found your images and description very interesting. I must say I assumed at first they were good HDR, (there are plenty of examples on the web of bad HDR.) However if you are not using the software algorithms to combine the different exposures the only other alternative I can envision is rather time consuming layer masking, which I have done in the past and spent several hours combining interior room shots with a view through a window. (as I published in Rangefinder Magazine about 10 years ago under the title “A Room With A View ” Care to reveal any more of your method…. as Ansel Adams said to me in his home in 1979,… ” You can ask me any questions you like, I have no secrets, in fact I never found people with secrets very interesting.”

    • Michael-
      Quoting a hero and telling me you actually conversed with him puts me in an akward place. Thanks.
      Explaining how I do what I do would require a book or witnessing the hours of me doing it. Essentailly how you did the “A Room With a View” shot is how I do mine. Each one takes anywhere from hours to weeks. I have images from south east asia I have yet to finish that were captured in the beginning of 2007. To this day I am learning as I do this. Why I do it. Just think like a painter and paint the light.

      By the looks of your work you already know the answer and if you put the time in would come up with work as original. I could help with specific questions to specific outcomes if you decide to put in the time.

      Thanks for the input.
      -M

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