When my photography friend first stated coming out with me she was always saying to me, “why do you take so many photo”. She was referring to the clicking of my camera, as I would take at least 3 images of each thing. She was referring to the bracketed shots I take. So I explained to her why. I used to do it because every image I did I would put it through the Photomatix and make a HDR image. My processing has evolved, and I look back on a lot of my HDR images and think, mmm, maybe better to work just on a single image. So I don’t do many HDRs anymore, though I still take a series of bracketed shots, you never know right, but also because I never know which image will give me the exposure that I really want.
So today I thought we would look at some images that I did a few months ago that I did make into HDR images and then see what happens if I process them with just one image. The above image is the HDR, processed with Photomatix. It looks fine, but sometimes I find that HDR images can get a kind of brilliance to them, it is hard to describe. They can also get horrible halos, which I hate, and the colours can become very saturated. This one doesn’t have the last two, but it does have that brilliance.
So I thought, how would I process this just from a single image. I choose the image that was taken 1 stop under, and went from there. I remembered my art training and thought about what I wanted to be the most important aspect of the image and worked from there. I have lost a lot of the detail in the image, but that doesn’t matter, it has become something different, well I hope it has.
Then, because it is my image, I decided to try it with some textures on it. I quite like the effect of the textures. It does something else to it.
I find myself often looking at my bracketed shots, and sometimes I do the HDR image, then process a single image, and see which one I like more. It is an interesting idea. Sometimes I do both and I know the HDR is so much better and go with that, then other times, I delete the HDR. I am becoming pickier with what I want from my images. I imagine this is something that will go on for as long I am doing photography.
I have done two others, will put the ones above and the others in a gallery for you to look at and compare. I wonder if you will agree with me.