googleplex. HDR photography

I Hate HDR?

HDR image © Rick Sammon
I'm teaching HDR at the California Photo Festival today.

As usual, I'll begin my presentation by suggesting to the audience that if they want to have some fun, do a Google search for "I hate HDR."

Hundreds of pages come up. Some posts are event long rants.

Most HDR haters hate HDR for two reasons:

One, they feel HDR is cheating (although Ansel Adams created HDR images and he was not called a cheater).

Two: they feel most HDR images are "over-cooked."

Here's my take on the topic:

One, why hate any form of creativity?

Two, why take the time to write about why you hate something?

HDR image © Rick Sammon
I do think that there are two main types of HDR images: realistic, above, and surrealistic, below.

HDR image © Rick Sammon
Often times, I think the subject suggests the HDR effect: realistic for landscapes, and surrealistic for artistic and really cool looking subjects.

© Rick Sammon
I go on to say that as much as I love HDR, it can ruin the mood of the scene, as illustrated by the HDR image at the left.

Finally, I say, "Follow your heart." Or as Ginger Baker wrote, "Do What You Like."

HDR image © Rick Sammon
I use several HDR programs and plug-ins. Check them out on my Save on Creative Plug-ins page and save a few bucks on some bundles.

My best HDR tips are on my iPad and Mac app: Rick Sammon's iHDR.

Explore the light,

P.S. For hands-on HDR learning (and loving) check out my HDR workshops.

Digital Delray Days - Day II

© Rick Sammon
Today was day #2 of my Digital Delray Days. Again, all the students did a great job.

One more Digital Delray Day on Thursday . . . then off to Orlando, Tampa and then Vero.

More pix to come, but for now, a favorite from our base camp: Colony Hotel.

Above: Potomatix HDR, Nik Software's Color Efex Pro/Detail Extractor, Magical Mirror Effect in Photoshop CS5.

Read about HDR and plug-ins here.

Yes. The work of MC Escher inspired my image.

© Jason Eldridge
Above: A cool shot of me shooting my Jason Eldridge:

Explore the light,

P.S. Join a workshop for lots of photo fun.

First Annual Digital Delray Days Begins with HDR - and awakening the artist within

© Rick Sammon
Today was day #1 of my Digital Delray Days - an annual event designed to inspire creative photographers in South Florida . . . and from around the country.

We started the day with HDR - capturing the entire dynamic range of a very high contrast scene. Everyone got it! (We also covered flash and people photography.)

Back in my room, I processed my HDR sequence and added a touch of Topaz Adjust/ Dark Ghostly to create the image I saw in my mind's eye. After applying Topaz Adjust, I used Shadows/Highlights in Photoshop to fine-tune my image.

Read more about Topaz Adjust and the other plug-ins I use. Great creative fun.

Above: Middle exposure of my seven exposure HDR sequence.

The idea here is to envision the end-result... and to go beyond HDR images.

If you want to master HDR - and get some ideas for creative HDR images - check out my iHDR app.

Explore the light,

P.S. Shoot me an email to get on my 2013 Digital Delray list.

Florida Photo Caravan 6th Shoot: Delray Beach

Topaz Adjust/Portrait Smooth. © Rick Sammon
Today my Florida Photo Caravan students will be shooting in and around the Colony Hotel in Delray Beach.

HDR will be the focus in the AM. Model photography in the PM.

Nik Color Efex Pro/Indian Summer. © Rick Sammon
For the HDR images, I'll encourage my new friends to experiment with different plug-in settings as a final touch. Experimenting often results in pleasing results, as illustrated above.

To learn more about the plug-ins I use, see my Creative Plug-ins page. Save a few bucks while you are there.

Scroll down to see previous posts from the road.

Explore the light,

Florida Photo Caravan 2nd Shoot: HDR

My best HDR of a parking garage: Visitor's Center parking garage.
We're just back from our second shoot on my 2012 Florida Photo Caravan. 

Our location: St. Augustine. We focused on HDR. Here are a few of my favorite HDR images . . but we all got good shots. I'll share these images with you as they come in.
Photomatix and Topaz Adjust/ Spicify
Tip: After you process your images in Photomatix or HDR Efex Pro, add a plug-in effect - or boost the saturation and contrast in Photoshop or LIghtroom. Above I used Topaz Spicify. Below I used Nik Software's Silver Efex Pro.
Nik HDR Efex Pro and Nik Silver Efex Pro
Flagler College. Photomatix plus Topaz Adjust/ Exposure Correction.
If you want to learn about HDR, check out my iHDR appTo learn more about the plug-ins I use, click here.

Click here to get on the list for my 2013 Photo Caravan and other workshops.

Explore the light,