I am in no way an HDR (High Dynamic Range) expert! As a matter-of-fact, I'm pretty much a novice. Sure, I've "fiddled" with it before, mostly using the easy settings on my cameras to shoot the pics and then the free version of Photomatix (which unfortunately includes three watermarks in every picture created on there), but never before had I strategically planned my shooting of such a scene.
This new series I shot at Sweetwater Creek State Park is my first attempt at implementing what I learned at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography Photo Weekend in Wichita not long ago. But first, what is HDR you ask? (well, I asked for you) It is, simply put, a scene that has a wide range from the darkest areas to the lightest areas of the picture. A photographer will take a series of pictures to make a range of perfectly exposed pictures and then blend them together so that the viewer sees every area exposed in one picture.
This first picture was shot of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company ( on Sweetwater Creek near Atlanta, Ga. In itself not a bad picture except that some of the best features in the picture can be found in the darkest and lightest areas of the scene. The bricks and ivy are perfectly exposed but there is amazing detail in the sky and clouds that is lost.
Pic 1 Pic 2
Pic 3 Pic 4
So... what if we expose to account for the sky? Picture 2 demonstrates the great detail in the sky but the rest of the picture is way under exposed (to dark). Or picture 4 washes out details in the rest of the picture to show the details in the shadows.
So... adding two more exposures and blending them produces the following result.
Every detail perfectly exposed and blended.
Go to http://rjdixonphotography.zenfolio.com/ to see more of my work.