The Valley of Light || A Good Old Fashioned HDR Rant

Here’s another early example of my experimentation with HDR and Landscape photography. I also feel inspired to rant today. As usual, I’ll try to ramble as much as possible. ;)

I’ve always loved pushing the envelope with color and detail. I’ve always found it fascinating and I’ve been happily doing it since Photoshop Version 5.0, way before any HDR software came out.

So why have so many people been misinterpreting the definition of HDR lately. For example, when someone calls an HDR photo overcooked, what are they really referring to? Too much Color, Contrast, Brightness, or Saturation? Since when are these attributes exclusively associated with HDR software? I can assure you that I’ve been over enhancing color since 1999. -- Just sayin’ ;)

For the most part, people are capable of destroying any piece of art using any technique. That's universal across all media regardless of what tools are used. Throughout history, there has always been just as much bad art as good art. The difference is, all the good art was published in history books and all the bad art is hanging in Bill Gate’s House. ;) (Oh, I’m kidding of course)

The bottom line for me is that people need to judge the photo based on its own qualities rather then its labeled technique. This idea that HDR is a magic button is absolutely ridiculous. A lot of the old school film guys said the same thing about Photoshop. Hell, they even said the same thing about computers back in the day. "That's not art, he just uses a dang computer.”

For some insight, check out the Before and After Comparison for this image: http://goo.gl/b6DdY. Here, HDR software was used to bring back all the detail in the highlights and shadows that were lost in the single exposure.

Where did all the extra color and contrast come from? Well, that was entirely my doing in Photoshop. So, even though the color has been slightly electrified and quite possibly discofied, the HDR software is not too blame. I can assure you that it’s 100% my fault.

*Disclaimer: This rant was brought to you by the worst cup of instant coffee that I’ve ever had...

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