I’ve resisted playing around with some of the fashionable “photography” techniques to be found on places like Flickr because I’m a bit old fashioned in a way. I’ve always had the mindset that I want to capture a scene as you see it in reality, not some super-saturated, better-than-life version. However every now and then I soften a bit and try new things. One of them is HDR (or High Dynamic Range) photography.
The idea is that you take several photos of the same scene, ranging from very underexposed to very over-exposed (the photos, not the photographer). Then you use some software to glue them together that picks the best bits of each shot and produces an image that is perfectly exposed. Then it can do some fancy tone mapping that produces something quite amazing. This means you can take impossible pictures that a camera could never produce in a single shot, such as directly into the sun and on very bright days with dark foregrounds. Like this one:
I must confess that it does look pretty cool. Thing is though, it’s unreal – the actual scene didn’t look anything like this and was a bit of a nothing shot really. But with a bit of software jiggery-pokery I was able to produce something quite impressive. Nice though it is, it’s not the sort of thing I plan on doing much – it’s art in its own right but it’s not what photography is all about for me. Unless of course I can’t think of anything else to take a picture of at the time!