8 HDR Myths Debunked

December 12, 2016 | 2 Comments |

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There are many misconceptions surrounding the practice of high dynamic range (HDR) photography. Here are eight – debunked.

HDR is new

Within the first five years of the invention of photography photographers began bracketing exposure to extend the dynamic range of photography. They used chemistry to process their negatives instead of software to process their files – but they still bracketed exposures to capture contrast ratios that exceeded paper, glass, and film.

HDR is hard

High dynamic range imaging has become so commonplace that cameras and software make it increasingly easy to practice HDR techniques – auto-bracketing, merging and rendering.

HDR requires the use of a tripod

While there are times when the use of a tripod is required, when exposures are long in duration, in a majority of cases current cameras’ auto-bracketing features and softwares’ image alignment algorithms make hand-held exposure bracketing highly practical.


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  • John Paul, I appreciate the way you show things from a different angle. I think that HDR should be seen as a technique which can be useful depending on the photographer’s intent. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way, as long as the photographer’s intent is met. The intent could be an HDR photograph with lots of details in the shadows and highlights, or it could be a high-contrast picture with only extreme whites and blacks. I also think that judging the intent, if that’s even possible, would be a completely different subject

  • John Paul Caponigro

    I agree with you Thomas. Perhaps discovering intent is like reading a mystery, solved by degrees first by the author and later by the reader. The author’s path may benefit from many clues that ultimately are cut to create a clearer narrative; the reader’s does not. In either case, a mystery remains but in the best work grows deeper and more substantial through the journey.

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