Here is a look at my first HDR image in Photoshop, shot with a Nikon D40. This was “commisioned” for Caz of Callouscomics who requested photos of the comic he graciously sent to guest artists around the world. I used this as an opportunity to show where the “magic is made”, and my knowledge is lifted from this HDR tutorial.

Key differences from your point-and-click digital camera process:

  • Get out of Auto mode
    They key to doing this is “bracketing” , taking different exposures at different shutter speeds to acquire the source images to combine. I used three  at f1/30,f 1/125, and f1/250, but would probably use five if presented with a phenomenal subject. If this makes you squeamish, you won’t be able to experience high dynamic range photography.
  • Use your camera’s RAW format. Check to see if your camera supports the capture of uncompressed data – the JPEG settings introduce compression and discard detail.
  • From there, the basics of getting into HDR are as simple as running Automated tasks in Adobe Bridge.

As with anything else – it’s the mastery that is difficult and beyond the scope of this post.

For the more advanced photographers, the title that springs to mind is The World in HDR by Trey Ratcliff. Lavishly illustrated with fantastic and almost surreal images, it contains a tutorial which seems to be geared at professional photographers using Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture.

I hope something here has helped whet your appetite. Please feel free to comment if you have a great resource you’d like to share.