This is an HDR image combined from five different exposures. I don’t really understand what I’m doing with HDR yet, but I thought this one came out OK:
1/8s, f/11, ISO-400, 105mm
Oh, incidentally – if you use Lightroom, have you tried LREnfuse? It’s donationware, and unlike HDR which can create pretty unnatural results, LREnfuse is just an exposure blend, and thus tends to look more natural – I like it and got the suggestion from Michael Frye, who is a great landscape photographer.
I do not have Lightroom; the Merge to HDR Pro in Photoshop seems to give you pretty good control over the tone-mapping process, though, so it allows you to control how realistic or not the image is. I just don’t understand how to use it very well yet to get the results I want.
As for the photorealism and HDR debate, I’m not entirely sure where I stand. I think it depends on the intent of the image. I do like some of the hyper-realistic HDR shots out there, but it’s a very different style than if you use it more subtly.
Fair enough – not saying HDR “looks” are always bad; just that I like having a good exposure blending alternative (or even to use as a default instead to increase dynamic range) as I tend to default to the most “natural” photographic style.
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