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Inspiration: High Dynamic Range (HDR) Imaging

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HDR images are composed of multiple shots that each capture a greater or lesser range of light. Typically these images are composed of a darker image, a medium range, and a lighter image. HDR combines these shots into a final image that has a broader range of light to dark. Often, the results are striking, visually rich, and full of details. Let's take a look at some great HDR images, tutorials on how to create HDR, and articles that explain this popular technique.

Digital Art

  • 35 Fantastic HDR Pictures

    A great collection of HDR images. Many of them take on fantasy qualities. Of course Photography enthusiasts may feel that some of these shots are overdone. As with any style, it really depends on your purpose and personal taste.

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  • 20 Beautiful HDR Pictures

    This article features some great HDR shots. Here is a quote from this beautiful HDR post, "There are some photography techniques that really give me the goose bumps, but the good ones. HDR is one of those techniques... and you'll probably love these as much as I do." Abduzeedo has written quite a few posts on HDR. Do a search over on their site and you'll find quite a few image roundups on this topic.

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  • HDR Images Of Japan Are Beautiful, Stunning

    The artist behind these images of Japan likes the HDR look. He feels that, "A lot of the pictures turn out unworldly, and I think they look like they were rendered for a video game." Some fun HDR inspiration here.

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  • HDR Flickr Group

    There are over 140,000 images in this group's Pool. Also, there are over 1,000 Discussion Posts in this group. It's a really active Flickr Group. A great source for an HDR enthusiast to get involved, or to look for HDR inspiration.

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  • HDR Photography - What Do You Think About It?

    Digital Photography School is a popular photography blog. This post showcases some inspiring HDR photography and points to some forum posts on this subject.

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  • Adobe Photoshop CS3 Tutorial - HDR - High Dynamic Range

    This is an advanced Photoshop tutorial that results in a superior midtone contrast image. It does not use Photoshop's Merge to HDR (High Dynamic Range) automated feature. If you want more control over your HDR images try out this tut. It also accounts for images where some objects are in motion, while multiple range shots are used.

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  • Merging HDR in Photoshop CS3 Tutorial

    This tutorial shows you how to use the Merge to HDR feature available in both CS2 and CS3 version of Photoshop. It also covers the Photomartrix Pro Tone Mapping Plugin that will give more dramatic HDR results. The results of both processes are compared in the conclusion.

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  • HDR Photos and Photoshop

    This tutorial at the Photoshop Tutorials site covers the Merge to HDR feature found in CS2 & CS3 in Photoshop. It also reviews converting the final 32-bpc file into a 8-bpc or 16-bpc image. This site also has an HDR tone mapping tutorial as well.

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  • HDR Photo Tutorial

    This tutorial shows you how to fake HDR. It doesn't require multiple images, but rather just one JPEG image. This tut gives a cool painterly HDR result.

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  • Merge to HDR in Photoshop CS2

    This tutorial covers the features in Photoshop CS2, and demonstrates a workflow to create HDR photos. It also delivers a wealth of information on HDR photography and HDR images.

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Articles & Resources

  • Wikipedia: High dynamic range imaging

    The Wikipedia entry on HDR gives some historical perspective on the subject. You'll also get a good technical understanding of what HDR is and how it is created. Issues such as tone mapping and merging multiple exposures are explained.

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  • HDR - High Dynamic Range - Workshop

    This article covers numerous details on HDR. It explains what it is and how to create HDR images. It gives advice on how to shoot the images. For combining the images, the article takes the Photomatix route, and doesn't use Photoshop methods.

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  • High-Dynamic-Range Photography: A Guide

    This article reviews how easy it is to create great HDR images. You don't have to be a professional photographer to learn how to create this style of photo with a high dynamic range of detail.

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  • HDR photography

    This article has an easy to understand introduction to HDR photography. It gives a simple explanation of photos the author took of the same sky scene with different aperture settings. Then shows them combined into one HDR image.

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  • HDR photography explained, definition and realization.

    This article covers a lot of ground. It explains definitions and specification of HDR and describes how to create these images. It gives a quick Photoshop workflow for HDR as well.

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