HDR Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots
Author: Tim Cooper
The title of this book is a little misleading. While it is an introduction to HDR photography, it is also quite a bit more. It is a good introduction to the fields of photography that most use the HDR technique. It concentrates on creating a realistic final image rather than the grunge effect that was popular when HDR first became common. I appreciate that because I hope grunge is a passing fad.
Tim begins with a discussion of why and when we need to use HDR based on the histogram and our camera’s abilities. This information is useful even when the dynamic range does not require HDR. Other basic information he provides includes the equipment needed and a description of how cameras meter a scene. All of this is then put together into a system for capturing the series of images either by manual exposure or by auto-bracketing.
With the images in hand, he discusses the pros and cons of two methods for their conversion into an HDR image, Lightroom and Photomatix. There are other options, of course, but he concentrates on these two because he believes they result in the most realistic images and they work together in a nice work flow.
Each chapter begins with a couple of images that he annotates with why he did what he did and ends with assignments for the readers to practice the chapter’s techniques. He ends the book with chapters on three of the more common uses for HDR techniques, landscape, architectural, and low light photography. These chapters all server as good introductions to those areas even if the image does not require HDR because they provide a workflow for good image capture.