Wiki defines HDR photography as

In image processing, computer graphics, and photography, high dynamic range imaging (HDRI or just HDR) is a set of techniques that allow a greater dynamic range of luminances between light and dark areas of a scene than normal digital imaging techniques or photographic prints. This wider dynamic range allows HDR images to represent more accurately the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes ranging from direct sunlight to faint starlight.

Love it or hate it, HDR photography has gained in popularity over the past few years.  I think with the increased quality of today’s cheaper point and shoots and  more and more people getting into photography this type of style has become immensely popular.

You can check out this tutorial from Motely Pixel:

You can also check out some other tutorials here:

Vanilla Days -Check out Pete Carr’s tutorial and you can also buy his book that he wrote with Robert Correll here.  This looks like the best tutorial that I have checked out.  I have already bookmarked it and will come back later to spend some time to check it out.

I follow Stuck in Cutoms a photoblog written by Trey Ratrliff.  Most of his work is HDR.    Check out his blog for some good examples of HDR photography. He also has a How-To book that you can purchase here.

Memoirs of a Rainy Day

Speckboy Design- A list of 19 tutorials.

This is pretty much what I do:

  1. Use a tripod
  2. Turn autofocus off
  3. Don’t use auto balance
  4. Use the A/V mode on my Canon 40D
  5. Set my camera to 10 second delay or use my shutter release cable
  6. Set camera to continuous shooting
  7. Take 3 shots with the E/V meter set at 2 stops apart.
  8. Merge in Photomatix, although I have been merging in Photoshop lately
  9. Tonemap in Photomatix
  10. Correct and sharpen in Photoshop

I have had pretty good luck.  I don’t like the too over the top effect, but some photographers love this style and it is their niche.




There are hundreds if not thousands of HDR groups on Flickr.  I few that I regularly check out.

The Best of HDR

HDR Korea

HDR Skies


I like what Scott Kelby, whose has literally written the book on Photoshop,  wrote in his CS4 for Digtial Photography book:

I was teaching a Photoshop seminar, and I asked the crowd for a show of hands, “How many of you shoot HDR photos?” hands went up alol ov er the room.  then I asked,”How many of you use Photomatix Pro to process your photos?” Not a single hand went down.  Everybody chuckled, but it speaks volumes.  Everybody I know shooting HDR uses Photomatix Pro because it’s vastly better and easy to use.

You can check out Photomatix’s website here.  It is fairly cheap and a great program to do your tone mapping.

It can be way over done.  I really don’t like when the effect is taken to a cartoon like quality or as Scott Kelby says, “the Harry Potter effect’, but it is a  style that I like for scenic settings and especially clouds at sunset. I love the way it captures the available light.