I noticed that Jason Odell has a course on HDR with Lightroom CC. While I was watching his course I noticed that I had been to many of the sites he was using as examples in the course, so I got inspired to try some of his techniques. Here’s a shot that I reprocessed with Lightroom 6 HDR.
Miramount Castle Sewing Machine
My grandmother had a sewing machine that looked just like this one, so it was good to see this one.
I’ve found in some cases that the Lightroom 6 HDR is easier to get a natural looking picture. I have noticed that Lightroom 6 HDR needs the raw nef files out of my Nikon D800 rather than the dng files out of DXO Optics Elite.
One of the advantages of using Lightroom 6’s HDR is that the HDR file it creates is a raw file, so if you want to apply camera profiles, or would like to deal with smaller files, it works well for that. Lightroom 6’s HDR doesn’t do well with lots of movement, and currently is unable to do very stylized HDRs. I will continue to use HDR Efex Pro 2 for that.
There are two styles of HDR. The first, which I tend to like, is trying to extend the dynamic range of my camera just a little bit more. The second is a stylized view with lots of extra micro contrast.
A few weeks I was in Dayton Ohio and was able to spend some time in the National Museum of the Air Force. It’s interesting to see how it changed. When I grew up there, they had a F-86 with all the side panels removed as one of their exhibits. It’s still there, but tucked away in a corner.
F-86 National Museum of the Air Force
One of the things you can do there is use a tripod, so it made doing HDR easier.
This was a five shot HDR bracket, which I used as an example for my brother in law.
I was initially intrigued by the color in this shot below and came to the conclusion that I was more interested in the shadows. I cheated a bit, this is a HDR shot, so you can see some of what was in the shadows.
Sunrise near Gunnison Co
Also talking about light and shadows, in the latest issue of “Photograph” from Craft and Vision, there’s a great portfolio by Marcin Sobas, that shows the shadows on the landscape.
Below is the sunset I captured on Kebler Pass. Oddly enough I had changed memory cards to one of my new 1000x cards and the old memory card reader had scrambled it. I had to resort to image rescue 4 to save this one.
Kebler Pass sunset
HDR is a two sided coin. On one side, our eyes handle dynamic range so much better than even modern DSLRs do. HDR can help us compress the dynamic range in a scene to make it possible to compress it just enough to capture it with our equipment. On the other side of the coin, some folks use it as a tool to create images that would never be seen in nature. Myself I tend prefer the first side of the coin. If you want to learn about making natural looking HDR images, Jason Odell offers some great classes on that.
This weekend when I was at the Stanley Hotel, I was shooting some images of the stairwell from the main floor, and found that even though I was using my D800, I needed just a little bit more dynamic range and turned to HDR Efex Pro 2.
Stanley Hotel Stairwell
St Elizabeth’s church
I took this picture when I was out with the Front Range Photography meetup group. Many times, you find that the skies aren’t what you want in a picture. When I saw the sky that evening I knew I had to take this picture.