Leave something dark

How about a little photo tip today. One of the problems you very often see in HDR photos and also in non-HDR photos, is that everything is of the same brightness. If you not count the occasions where this is a desired effect (it’s sometimes used in portraits to give the result a soft feel) this makes the photo look very flat and boring. The reason is, you have to have a contrast between the dark areas of the photo and the bright areas. But if you use a tone-mapping program, like Photomatix or Oloneo Photoengine, you can easily get a result where all contrast is lost. This is quite often the result I go for, as it gives me a good start for further edits. But one should never leave a photo like that as the final result.

As the title says, don’t fear to leave some of the pixels black, and also, some of the pixels white. HDR expands the dynamic range, but your goal should not be to capture it all, but to create a pleasant photo for the viewer. And leaving some bright lights and shadows can help very much to achieve this.

Crazy sharp castle

I hope you can see on the photo, how crazy sharp it is. That’s because I took it with the Canon 70-200mm F2.8 lens. Compared to my other lenses, it creates the sharpest results. I don’t carry it with me so often, as it’s very heavy, but the results are usually worth it. This is of course the Prague castle, as seen during the sunset from the Vysehrad area. I took the big lens with me just for this that day, as it’s quite far away, and I needed to zoom in.

This is a HDR from 5 exposures, created in Oloneo Photoengine and then blended with original shots in Photoshop.
Crazy sharp castle

Technique: Oloneo Photoengine + Manual blending
Number of exposures: 5, Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Lens: Canon 70-200mm F2.8 IS II
Focal length: 200mm, Aperture: 6.3, Middle exposure time: 2.50s, ISO: 100, Tripod used: yes

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