Jan 092013


Sunday September 9, 2012

HDR Tutorial – Everything you need to know about HDR Photography

Welcome to the International HDR Tutorial!

Required Software for HDR

I use Photomatix Pro (Coupon code of STUCKINCUSTOMS to save you 15%). You can buy and download immediately from the Photomatix webpage. Simple!

The software is inexpensive, and that discount code should help.  Hey, it’s better than a sharp stick in the eye. This is the same thing the priest said at my wedding.

A Free and Simple Tutorial!

Welcome to the free tutorial! This will be fun for both of us!

This simple HDR Tutorial is for beginners has taught thousands of people how to do this stuff.  I’m sure it can help you too.  Remember, YOU can do this!

Who is this tutorial for?

  • New photographers and those just getting started and want to make prettier pictures
  • For advanced photographers ready to add new and improved HDR techniques

I am constantly evolving my techniques. HDR (High Dynamic Range) is still a young art form. I’ve been lucky enough to travel around the world and meet some of the greatest HDR Photographers. We share techniques, shoot together, post process together, and all work together to drive the art form forward. I am happy to share the latest and greatest.

Want more than this Free Tutorial? Go Deeper!

Would you like to see the full HDR Video Tutorial? It’s over 11 hours of very detailed information, for beginners and beyond. This tutorial on the page is nice, but perhaps you want to watch me actually do it on video! :) If you visit that page, you’ll see a full detailed listing of all the various topics that are discussed. You’ll love it!
See more about this Top 10 HDR Mistakes eBook here! We have a variety of downloadable PDF eBooks that can get you even more information about HDR and other subjects. These have been very successful and we plan on adding more soon!This first eBook about HDR Mistakes is unique because I actually use 10 of my old, horrible HDRs and talk about the mistakes I made. It should save you countless hours of pain and wonder!

Free Newsletter from Trey!

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That’s me on the right, looking somewhat confused and exasperated after a few weeks of HDR in Argentina. I put out a monthly newsletter that is filled with all kinds of tricks and tips. Go ahead and sign up… I promise not to spam you! You’ll get about one per month…

The usual spots…

Join me (@TreyRatcliff) on Twitter or Google+. Everyone is doing it… even my mom.

What is HDR?

HDR is short for High Dynamic Range. It is a post-processing method of taking either one image or a series of images, combining them, and adjusting the contrast ratios to do things that are virtually impossible with a single aperture and shutter speed. I would say that about 75% of my images use the technique, and if you are new to it, then you may notice a slightly different “look and feel” to my photographs. You should also probably note that HDR is a very broad categorization, and I really hate categorization. My process starts with using basic HDR techniques, but then there are many more steps to help the photos look more… let’s say… evocative.

I can talk a little bit more about the philosophy behind the photography style here for a quick moment. You might consider that the way the human brain keeps track of imagery is not the same way your computer keeps track of picture files. There is not one aperture, shutter speed, etc. In fact, sometimes when you are in a beautiful place or with special people and you take photos — have you ever noticed when you get back and show them to people you have to say, “Well, you really had to be there.” Even great photographers with amazing cameras can only very rarely grab the scene exactly as they saw it. Cameras, by their basic-machine-nature, are very good at capturing “images”, lines, shadows, shapes — but they are not good at capturing a scene the way the mind remembers and maps it. When you are actually there on the scene, your eye travels back and forth, letting in more light in some areas, less light in others, and you create a “patchwork-quilt” of the scene. Furthermore, you will tie in many emotions and feelings into the imagery as well, and those get associated right there beside the scene. Now, you will find that as you explore the HDR process, that photos can start to evoke those deep memories and emotions in a more tangible way. It’s really a wonderful way of “tricking” your brain into experiencing much more than a normal photograph.

I will post a few interesting HDR photographs that I have taken that people seem to like. This first image below is the first HDR photograph ever to hang in the Smithsonian Institution in D.C. I think this goes to show how mainstream and accepted HDR can be, if the technique is properly applied.

HDR Image

 Posted by at 6:12 am

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