Saturday, January 23, 2010

An HDR Mess that I Like for Some Reason

Before you start laughing, I just want to say that this photo is crap. It's a pathetic attempt at HDR. After I post it, I'll explain everything that went wrong.

But that being said, I think HDR has some serious potential for dramatic portraiture. I love what it does to clouds, especially the little halo it creates around a person for whatever reason. Most of the problems with this are easy to avoid, especially  now that I know about them. 

click to enlarge, or see it on Flickr
Aperture: f/2.6
Shutter Speed: (three exposures)
ISO: 80

What went wrong:
- I was holding the camera. And I'm a moving subject. Two bad things if you're taking three exposures to combine. There was some truly awful ghosting, the worst of which I cloned out in Photoshop.
- I was shooting a reflection. Unfortunately, Photomatix saw some of the stuff in my car that was barely visible through the window despite the reflection, and decided it liked it better than my black shirt. So that explains the random clutter inside my torso.
- Most of my face is covered up. This isn't an HDR mistake, just a portraiture mistake.
- There's a lot of clutter in the background. This wasn't really planned, I just saw the difference in the dynamic range my eyes were seeing and the dynamic range my camera was seeing, and decided to try an HDR on a whim while I was shooting this.

Anyway, I learned something from this. I'll have to try again when I can get shots from a tripod-mounted camera in quick enough succession to eliminate (or at least minimize) ghosting. And I'll probably need to find a volunteer. Self-portraits aren't suited to HDR at all.

1 comment:

  1. You're right, this shot isn't awesome, but I can see where HDR could be really cool for portraiture. Can't wait to see you try it out!


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