HDR Tutorial – How to create HDR photos

Last night in Madrid

HDR tutorial (ver. 1.0)

I have split this HDR tutorial into multiple parts. Now I’m adding the third part, with the others coming later. So at the end there will be all this:

What is HDR?

Let’s make it as simple as possible. HDR is a way you combine multiple shots, so you have no overexposed areas and detail in dark areas. That’s all you really need to know.

A lot of people think about HDR’s as these overdone, unnatural photos, which have nothing to do with reality. I call those photos with a “HDR look”. They can be created from any photo, and have really nothing much to do with HDR. I have seen good ones, and bad ones, it’s a lot about the viewers´ taste and preference. Also some of the HDR results, can be created without using the HDR technique. It’s again the photographers decision what he uses (like he can use a Canon or a Nikon camera, but the result is still a photo :) )

There is a certain aversion against HDR photos. But everyone should understand, that HDR is a technique, a part of the final photo. And it depend’s on the photographer, how the final photo looks. HDR on it’s own does not make a good or a bad photo.

I get quite a lot of questions, if my photos really are HDR’s. That’s because people expect that the HDR mentioned look from them. But that’s not my goal. My goal is to find the sweet spot, between artistic and realistic photos, so I like them.

Old Bridge

Why HDR?

Again, this is very simple. You can’t always set up your light sources. Especially when you only light source is the sun. HDR gives you the option, to capture all the available light and then expose all parts of the photo as you like.

It removes some limitations all current cameras have, and gives you more to work with in post-processing.

At the end it’s your decision. Same as with all photography techniques, starting with HDR is easy, creating a good looking HDR photo is quite hard. So don’t be discouraged, if you can’t get the results you want. It take time and practice.

Feel free to ask any questions and if you find some errors or problems with my HDR tutorial, please let me know.

So lets start with how to take your photos for HDR

Continue to the first part : HDR Tutorial - Taking photos for HDR

Jump ahead to the second part: HDR Tutorial – Using Photomatix

Jump ahead to the third part: HDR Tutorial – Problems in HDR

Jump ahead to fourth part: HDR Tutorial - Getting the desired look

And here are few examples of finished HDR photos:
The stunning view
St. Martin's Cathedral at night
Inside the Matthias Church
The blue sunset in Prague
Relaxx and enjoy the sunset

  • http://TerryIversonPhotography.com Terry Iverson

    I noticed you were using a Promote Control unit as I used to do.

    I recently starting using Magic Lantern loaded on the CF card which adds much functionality to the camera. This eliminates the need to use my Promote Control and is less equipment to carry around. With it I can now shoot many more than just 3 bracketed exposures including allowing the camera to decide how many exposures are needed to capture the dynamic range in Auto mode.

    The best part is that magic Lantern is donation based so you can try it out before donating.

    • http://blog.hdrshooter.net Miroslav

      I actually also started using Magic Lantern recently. I still carry the promote with me, as a backup and for late night shooting, where touching the camera is a problem, but most of the time I’m using the Magic lantern firmware :)

  • Kelly

    Great site, great work! I’m glad I stumbled upon your Facebook page through Michiel Buijse Photography’s page. Thank you for all your tips & any future material you may decide to post..

    • http://blog.hdrshooter.net Miroslav

      Thank you Kelly :)

  • Roy

    wow! blog site you made their Sir Miroslav i just glad that i random found this blog of yours and have some of your photos as my reference for my rendering and that tutorial very nicely and smooth thank you so much :)

  • Salo

    just WOW :)

  • http://muyiwa-osifuye.artistwebsites.com/ Muyiwa OSIFUYE

    This is quite detailed. I will strive to study the tips. Can one use photoshop7 strictly?
    Thanks for sharing.

    • http://blog.hdrshooter.net Miroslav

      You can use any Photoshop you want, I think all of them support all needed functions