HDR: Realistic or Artistic? The Choice is Yours.

Images © Rick Sammon. All rights reserved.

Above is an artistic HDR image - created with Photomatix plus Topaz Adjust (Spicify effect). I added the frame using onOne Software's PhotoFrame Professional.

Below is a realistic HDR image - created using Photomatix only.

Both pictures were taken in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Photomatix is a true HDR program. Topaz Adjust can expand the dynamic range of an image, but it's not a true HDR program. So for true HDR images, you need Photomatix - or another HDR program.

Four quick tips on HDR:

1) Be aware of noise. Try to shoot at the lowest possible ISO setting for the cleanest possible picture.

2) Watch for chromatic aberrations - before you start processing your pictures. If your individual files have chromatic aberrations, try to reduce or even remove them in Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture before you create your HDR image. In Photomatix, there is a feature for reducing chromatic aberration, but it's not called Eliminate Chromatic Aberrations for a reason :-)

3) Be aware of movement. It can be good, when it comes to clouds and moving water. It can be bad, when it comes to photographing people. Notice I said "could be bad," because it could be good if you want to great "ghost" images in a scene.

4) Consider the subject when consider a realist or artistic HDR image.

For more HDR info, check out my new book: HDR Photography Secrets.

For more info (and select discounts) on HDR images and plug-ins, see the Plug-in Experience.

Explore the light - and HDR,