3 questions to consider when shooting HDR

Earlier this week I wanted to try and see what all the HDR photography was about. I had seem some that were really awesome and I was hoping to get some that I thought would compete with the stellar ones I had seen. Well, after an hour shooting inside the Joseph Smith Memorial Building (yes, I have used other photos from this in previous posts, but this was the true HDR I was attempting with this one), I had some shots that I later took into Photoshop CS5 to merge together and see what appeared.

Here is the result.


I like it, but I don’t at the same time. Here is a cross comparison of the HDR photo and the one with a more normal curve histogram.


The HDR photo has a second floor that is pink in color. The bottom floor isn’t as white as the non-HDR photo and has a sort of green tint. I do like how the furniture on the bottom floor looks in the HDR photo, along with the chandelier, but overall, I maybe have a few things to learn about HDR. I guess I had to start somewhere.

Here are the three things I think I will need to consider next time I try HDR.

  1. Does the view I am shooting have a dynamic range, or is lighting already pretty consistent?
  2. As I capture the three shots (-2, 0, and +2), how do the histograms of each photo look? (if I understand correctly, the -2 histogram should spike on the far left, the 0 have a sort of bell curve, and the +2 spike on the far right)
  3. Should I use Tv, Av, P or go all manual (including focus) so I have more control over the camera and what “normal” light it wants to use?

So, photography is a lot of trial and error – I don’t know if many people get it right, right off the bat, but I think I am willing to try again, just in a different setting that warrants more of a HDR look.

~signed, Carltonaut

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