Project 52: HDR | Week 12

March 24, 2017  •  5 Comments

It's another Friday, so we have another post in our professional pet photography Project 52 blog circle. Our topic for Week 12 is HDR. HDR or High Dynamic Range is a technique in photography that plays with the exposure value of images. Frequently, people use several images to combine into a final HDR photo. There are also a few different software programs that will take a single image and simulate the HDR look. I often use some elements of HDR in my images, especially for images where I want to bring out the texture of fur (such as in our Week 8 "texture" theme.)

This week, I used a couple of different methods to create my HDR images, which I took of Mr. Bojangles in our favorite local park. 

First, I used bracketing, which is taking images with different exposure values and combining them into the HDR image. For this process I had an underexposed image, an overexposed image, and a median exposure image. Typically, these images are supposed to be static other than the exposure, but since I was standing in a stream on slightly wobbly rocks and because Mr. Bojangles doesn't stay still the entire time, my three images don't quite line up. However, I was easily able to overcome this issue with the merge process and a tiny bit of retouching in Photoshop. (Please excuse the overall poor quality of these images. I wasn't really intending to use them for this blog post, but wanted to demonstrate merging the images. In fact, normally these would go in the discard folder.)

The first two images are my over and middle exposures (note the different position of Mr. Bojangles' head.) The bottom two images are my under exposed and my final, merged HDR image.

Next, I took two different single images and used a program to create each HDR image. It's the same program I use frequently to enhance certain elements in my images. I generally don't go strong HDR unless I am trying to create a certain stylized look.

My settings were a little different for each image, because I wanted to show slight variations in the finished looks. This last one is my overall favorite.

Tell us what you think in the comments. For more High Dynamic Range imagery head over to Kelly Garin Photography, Columbia, SC, and the around the rest of the blog circle until you end up back here.

If you would like to book a custom pet portrait session in your home or other favorite location, use the hot pink "BOOK NOW" button to the right of this post (at the bottom or your screen on mobile), send us an email to suzi [at] petlovephotography.com, or give us a call at 513-288-1650 in the Greater Cincinnati area or at 650-382-3242 in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Comments

Kelly(non-registered)
I'm glad you mentioned that you were able to fix movement in post. When I saw the horrible ghosting on the resulting image in camera, I thought I would not be able to use it. Great explanation of your process! Thanks!
Jodie(non-registered)
Great Blog, Love Mr Bojangles such a patient model :)
Elaine(non-registered)
Yep. I have the same head movement issues with most dogs. But I do think the HDR effect can really make a difference on surroundings/environment. I am glad you tried the bracketing. I do like that last merged photo!
Jessica(non-registered)
I like how you showed all your bracketing steps. It's fun to see how it all came together!
Kim(non-registered)
Nice job combining the images. I could not figure out how to combine my bracketed images when Moose moved even slightly.
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