What is HDR? A quick definition of High Dynamic Range and an example

HDR is an acronym for High Dynamic Range. Ok. Fine, so what is High Dynamic Range? There are lots of complex explanations involving exposures and techniques that help illustrate what HDR is and we’ll get to that. However, HDR is basically seeing beyond the visual range of your typical photograph.

In most photographs, you see the an average range of light. If you’re outside photographing people, the sky might be blown out, but you know it wasn’t blown out when you were standing there. Building an image using HDR techniques, you can bring the blue back into a blown sky, you can start to see into shady areas better. Suddenly the image starts to look more like it did when you were there. Some people stop there, some people like to explore the color palette a little. Some, like to explore it a lot. :) Ok, truth be told, some like to explore it too much. Guilty. :(

In this example, I shot several photos, 13 to be exact.

What is HDR
HDR final composite shot

This shot was used as the base to the final HDR shot. Exposures were made above and below this shot and then combined so you see more of the Valley while mainting the rich colors of the sky.

what is HDR medium
HDR base image