Saturday, 10 September 2011

IDHDR–the confessions of a former HDR reluctant

No, don’t look at the title, and leave. Just because every Google+ photographer seems to have a fetish for HDR doesn’t make this current vogue or passé.
I’ve previously recoiled a bit from HDR. Trey Ratliff has been the sifu and legendary evangelist of HDR and some of his works are exemplary, not just in HDR but in wide angle lens compositions. But as with anything if you see too much of that, you get jaded. And I am seeing too much of the dramatically emphasised tone mapped HDR the past month at G+.
I’ve tried HDR – the Photomatix way. The EasyHDR way. The Dynamic Photo HDR way. They’ve all been klutzy. Really, taking the time to shoot at least 3 shots. Coming back to the computer to blend them. No, I won’t use Photoshop super alignment whizzo. I’m about as keen to Photoshop anything as plucking my eyebrows.
In-Device HDR, on the other hand, I’m recently more than happy with. My Samsung Galaxy S (Android) phone-cam has an easy no brainer app HDR Camera+ – costs heaps, all of AUD 2.82 – yes, I haven’t made a mistake with the decimal point. You point, you hold steady for 3 clicks, and that’s about it. You can even post up to Google+ or Facebook. The small sensor phone-cam really benefits from extending the handling of dynamic range – skies improve instead of being dead white.
Rob and Rae's big Eucalypt at sunset
Rob and Rae's big Eucalypt at sunset – a tough shot in view of the shadows

2011-08-24 08.41.55
Early morning at the Monash Staff Development Unit on Wellington Road with deep shadows and bright, bright happy but cold sun.
Flinders Street Station is as much about people as the building
And the app seems to resolve walking people ghosting as well as hand movement between the three shots. Something I struggled to resolve with the PC HDR apps
2011-08-20 14.34.33
I love this shot. The girl is on the shadow side, patiently waiting for her partner who is momentarily enamoured with the stone lion.

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