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“Turning a Tree into a Chair…
The Tree is there. Someone comes along with his/her tools: Axe, knife, etc.. He whittles a chair out of it. Now the chair is there.

Now once it’s a chair you have the option to leave it like that or you can carve details into it, paint it, and/or add upholstery. It’s still a chair whether you improve upon it or not… It just then becomes a specialized type of chair like Victorian, modern, or such.

That’s what HDR does. It adds details, paint, and upholstery to the Photograph. It’s still a photograph, but now enhanced. If you like the regular old whittled chair then don’t HDR it… But if you think your [chair would look better to you]  in HDR then do it…”   GusDoeMatik   ( from Scott Kelby, Photoshop Insider)

The is a raging debate about whether HDR Photography is a valid art form or not.  There tends to be two camps – you love it or you hate it.  I’ve found it growing on me . . . mainly because of the challenge of learning new techniques in post processing.  I am keeping an open mind and learning as much as I can about it as just one more tool in my arsenal.  I can see where certain photos will adapt very nicely to HDR while others – not so much.  I tend to be a realist, and like my photos to portray the reality in a scene.  I think HDR has the ability to make you feel as though you are in the photo – as though you were really there in that moment.  I think really good photography SOOC also has that ability – so I guess the challenge is to find a healthy balance.  Since my journey through this learning maze has just begun I’ll keep y’all posted!  

Following is another of my attempts at HDR, followed by the original SOOC.  It had just rained, and then the sun came out.  Very typical for Cariboo Country.  We took advantage of the break in the weather and I quickly set up my D7000 on timer and bracketing (2 stops under and over).  



Original (normal exposure) unprocessed photo:




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