"The HDR Dilemma" - Digital Photography Podcast 524

This is The Digital Story Podcast #524, March 22, 2016. Today's theme is "The HDR Dilemma." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

The biggest frustration I've had with photography has been the disconnect between what I see with my eyes and what the camera records. Even with today's technologically advanced machines, my pictures don't always turn out as I envisioned. So what are the techniques we can use to tip the scales in our favor? RAW capture is certainly a good start. But High Dynamic Range photography elevates the possibilities to a new height. And that's the first topic of today's show.

The HDR Dilemma

I call this the HDR Dilemma for good reason. Because it seems like every time I consider this shooting technique, I have an internal conversation about the pros and cons.


On the plus side, HDR photography can capture the images we envision in our minds: shadowy textures and highlight details coexisting in one image. So what's not to like? Well, not everything is in the plus column here. For example:

  • More post processing than with other images. I've been using Aurora HDR Pro lately, and I like it. But I find myself investing a sizable amount of time editing the image, before I even know if I'm going to like it. And half the time, I don't.
  • Finding the right HDR processor. There is a wide spectrum spanning from Lightroom's built-in HDR editor to Aurora's wild ride. It takes time, and sometimes money, to find the right fit.
  • Knowing when to stop. HDR creates the classic trap that if a little is good, a lot is better. Showing some discipline with HDR editing is often easier said than done.
  • Avoiding the HDR stigma. Seems to me that if others know that you used HDR processing, they instantly discount your work as amateur. No serious photography would stoop to this, right?
  • Fighting laziness. I could spend the mental and creative energy trying to figure out how to best capture this landscape, or I could simply record it as an HDR and let the software figure it out later.

All of that being said, I still like High Dynamic Range photography. When I do properly analyze the scene and show restraint in its production on the computer, I can do things never imagined before. And those pictures can be artistic and respectable.

So how do you handle the HDR Dilemma?

In the News

Apple Announces New 9.7" iPad Pro - covered by The Digital Story.

The 9.7 inch iPad Pro will be available March 31 in 3 configurations: 32GB@$599, 128GB@$749, and 256GB@$899 and 4 different colors including Rose Gold.

This is a powerful tool for nimble photographers, especially the 256GB model combined with an SD card reader and Apple Pencil. The ability to work practically anywhere without the bulk of a computer can lighten the load, improve productivity, and add a dash of fun to the photography experience. And for those using the Photos ecosystem (Photos for iOS and Photos for OS X), the imaging pipeline from camera to editing to output will be extremely smooth.

Autumn in The Eastern Sierra - Oct. 21-23, 2016

Within the next week, I'll be sending invitations to the TDS Autumn in The Eastern Sierra photography workshop that begins Thursday evening, Oct. 20 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 23rd. If you want to get on the reservation list, then go to the TDS Workshops page and use the Send Me Info form to get on the list.

Tell Us Your Film Story

Within the next month, I'm going to launch www.theanalogstory.com featuring images, articles, tips, workflows, and a used camera store. I know that many members of our TDS community already shoot film. If you'd like to share your story describing why you like analog photography and the gear you use, send me 500 words or less (and no more!) plus a half dozen images. Send your content to theAnalogStory@gmail.com

Updates and Such

In Aperture Exile? Easing the change to Capture One, with guest Derrick Story - I'll be the special guest on an upcoming Capture One Pro webinar on April 13 at 9:00 AM PDT. The webinar is free, and you can sign up here.

Out of Chicago Update - The debut of The Nimble Photographer Workshop sold out on Friday, June 24. Because there is a wait list, we've added a second workshop on Thursday June 23. I hope you can join me in Chicago this coming June. There's still time for Early Bird pricing.

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

Red River Paper - Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

ImageFramer Take your photos to the next level with ImageFramer. Visit www.apparentsoft.com today.

MacPaw Creators of CleanMyMac 3 and other great software for Apple computers. Visit www.macpaw.com today.

The Nimbleosity Report

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