Battle of the HDR Photo Tips Round 3: Ratcliff vs. Sammon. Today: Thinking and Mystery

It's Round 3 of the week-long Battle of the HDR Photo Tips: Trey Ratcliff vs. Rick Sammon. Thank you for joining us ringside.

Trey Ratcliff is some dude on the internet that runs Stuck in Customs. His mom visits his blog every day. If people leave bad comments, then his mom gets 'em.
Rick Sammon was at Woodstock and still tries to maintain the PLJ feeling of the '60s. He also dived in Lake Baikal, Sibera where, under the ice, he photographed the nerpa.

Away we go:

Sammon: Think.

Think like a painter. Try to create an image that looks more like a painting than a still photograph.

Think like an artist. Don't care what others think about your work. 

Think and create for yourself. Remember: You are the audience.

Think about the feeling of an image - and don't get too caught up with tech stuff, as important as it is.

Think about what others may see in your picture - like the heart that you see in my HDR image of the St. John's Pier in St. Augustine, Florida.

Think. :-)
Photograph by Trey Ratcliff
Ratcliff: Today, I will talk a bit about leaving some mystery in your shot.

HDR processing can already give an impressionist-feel to your photo.

Now, this doesn’t work for anyone. You’ll find photographers out there that want absolute detail and precision with zero noise in every pixel of the photo. But I don’t listen to them… It’s more important to me to provide the feeling of something rather than the actual something.

Also, I like to leave things in my photos that are mysterious and “could be” mistakes. Often times, these are interesting enough to make people wonder and become somewhat attached to the photo. You don’t want the bit to be so strange that it is distracting and off-putting… but just a bit mysterious perhaps.

In the photo above, I left in the dirt-zamboni because it was kinda strange and different. Upon closer inspection, you can see that there was recently a bullfight and that thing was smearing the blood across the sand.
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To learn more about Trey's HDR work, click here.

To learn more about my latest HDR project, Rick Sammon's HDR Portfolio app for the iPad, click here.

Explore the light,