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Digital Outback Photo publishes The Art and Craft of HDR Photography

By dpreview staff on Nov 21, 2011 at 20:54 GMT

Digital Outback Photo has published 'The Art and Craft of HDR Photography' by Uwe and Bettina Steinmueller. The 100 page e-book, written and published by the authors of dpreview.com's 'The Art of HDR' series of guides, can be downloaded as a printable pdf. It is available for an introductory price of $15.95, rather than the usual $19.95.

Press release:

The Art and Craft of HDR Photography

We use HDR since 2004 and wrote this book about our personal experience creating HDR images.

  • Learn the principles of HDR Photography
  • About Dynamic Range
  • Shooting HDR images
  • About optimal image alignment
  • About CA (chromatic aberration) removal
  • Handling of Ghosting
  • Tonemapping
  • Creating natural or more grungy looks

More info can be found here (including the full table of content):

http://www.outbackphoto.com/CONTENT_2007_01/section_news/DOP_Ebooks/dop2011_04/index.html

Pricing: $15.95 intro price (regular $19.95)

Comments

Total comments: 35
sagebrushfire
By sagebrushfire (Dec 4, 2011)

HDR is usually more work than it's worth to me but I admire it as an art form. Photo "purists" are delusional. If you understand the history of photography you know that digital and analog media has limitations and post processing has always been an integral part of photography. As far as I'm concerned the camera is a data capturing device. I shoot in raw and try to expose in the middle so that I have the most possible information to work with later during PP, where the actual art happens. Cameras are good for capturing information and creating composition; getting it right in-camera applies more to professionals with time constraints who can't afford to sit and process a single image all day.

HDR is a logical step because our brain and eyes are so complex, they dynamically adjust what we see all the time. Anything that takes cameras a step closer to that complexity is fine by me. Photography is artful because it can produce surreal imagery from the mundane; that's the magic of it.

1 upvote
JACK LARSON
By JACK LARSON (Nov 30, 2011)

As the HDR software has gotten increasingly better, photographers also have gotten increasingly better at producing superb HDR photographs. For me, that means photographs that you cannot tell are HDR.

1 upvote
sagebrushfire
By sagebrushfire (Dec 4, 2011)

Definitely; what always drew me to HDR was getting images that looked more like what I saw: avoiding blown out windows in dark rooms and ugly white skies, etc. The surreal images are cool to look at but I think people just assume that's the only reason you'd want to use HDR.

What I'd like to see is a camera that can bracket 3 exposures at the same shutter speed with different aperture/ISO very swiftly to try and get more detail.

Or maybe you could design a layered sensor that can capture at different ISO's simultaneously. I'm no engineer or scientist but I bet more advanced HDR imaging is on it's way, stuff with practical usage and more capabilities for action shots.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Nov 24, 2011)

Why sell a book?

If you are patient enough to read this book, then you are patient enough to read the instructions on how to do HDR as a lesson on the internet.

Best of luck on the sales...

1 upvote
NancyP
By NancyP (Nov 23, 2011)

In defense of HDR: The human eye has a significantly larger range of sensitivity than the most sensitive digital device. There are times when the camera doesn't reproduce human vision well. HDR can be used to gather data from shadows and highlights apparent to the eye but not to the camera sensor. Of course, you may regard the camera limitations as desirable from the artistic point of view, and opt to use single exposure images.

0 upvotes
Steve
By Steve (Nov 29, 2011)

the problem arises when people go beyond the 'approximate the range of human site' processing and go crazy with 'painterly' looks.. etc. although results can be quite dazzling... the purists hate that kind of stuff. i'm currently at the 'betty ford clinic of overprocessing'. in addition of over the top photomatixing.. i have been recently loading my post processed images into topaz adjust and adding more insult to injury. i cant stop this processing frenzy.. sometimes, you cant even tell what i took a shot of it gets so bad...
thankfully i am learning how to tone down my processing.

0 upvotes
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Nov 22, 2011)

I can't stand Outback Photo, and Luminous Landscape. They post reams of the same mediocre photographs of pelicans and distant mountains and leaves - year after year, the same mediocre images - and although they're no doubt very successful at selling themselves, that doesn't help *me*.

I mean, yes, art is 99% business, 1% art, and Thomas Kinkade will not die poor because of it, but it's not mandatory to shove this bleak truth into people's faces.

3 upvotes
Nevenp
By Nevenp (Nov 25, 2011)

Why don't you fight "mediocre pelicans, distant mountains and leaves" by uploading something worth viewing to your gallery? Only some boobs there got my attention... I expected a worthy photographic achievements from a master. High expectations only took me to deep disappointment :(

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Nov 27, 2011)

Nevenp - because it does not work that way. Its perfectly possible to recognise mediocre art without being an artist. Now - Ashley do hazy images of pretty girls. At least those are what he shows in his gallery. No pelicans, mountains and leaves there.

Now, to be fair to OP and LL, I never think they have claimed to produce art. Its mostly gear and workflow articles, the photos being illustrations.

And - a question to Ashley. Your images (bing hazy and low resolution) shows no need of high end gear, like LL covers. So - why bother?

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
steve ohlhaber
By steve ohlhaber (Nov 22, 2011)

HDR can fix the lack of dynamic range that camers have. Your eyes can naturally see things in direct sunlight and shadow much better than a camera. Its when people go nuts with it that it looks unnatural. Catching up with what your eyes can obviously see can make the image look more natural because cameras have very narrow dynamics. Photographs typically are unnatural because of this. Even so, its rare that I see an HDR photo that looks normal.

0 upvotes
itsastickup
By itsastickup (Nov 22, 2011)

I don't like HDR but a lot of people do. I'm sure this book will sell well.

0 upvotes
Tape5
By Tape5 (Nov 22, 2011)

Human vision doesn't do any HDR. It is a law of nature that if you want to see something really well, you may just not be able to see other things so well! This can be used creatively by some. Personally I cannot see why anyone would desire to see it all indiscriminately inside a frame. Isn’t a frame after all a tool to hide what is not inside it?

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Nov 27, 2011)

Oh - yes we do HDR. We can see rather well both dark and bright areas of a scene. And the reason we can do so is that we only see gradients and then compute light level. Thats why a white sheet looks white and a black sheet looks black, no matter if its in the sun or the shadow. But this HDR computation is made in our eyes and brain - we dont expect it to be made before hitting the eye. Thats why it look unnatural.

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Nov 28, 2011)

we obviously dont do hdr, because hdr means we make under and over exposed pictures and combine them to a new picture, this new picture has to have a bigger dynamic range than possible with one picture. thats hdr

we dont do this

we just have a bigger dynamic range, and better processor, so we dont need to do that :)

0 upvotes
Steve
By Steve (Nov 30, 2011)

actually the brain does do that (from the reasearch)... the brain takes separate 'exposures' from the eyes and merges them accordingly.. just like hdr programs.

0 upvotes
sagebrushfire
By sagebrushfire (Dec 4, 2011)

Not sure I know what that last part really means.

I think the ultimate truth is that, at least in art, the result is the only thing that matters. Would you tell a painter not to paint a rich blue sky because it was bright out that day and the sky seemed white? That's his or her artistic decision to make. If you think Photography is an art form then you understand that the ends almost always justify the means. The work you produce is all that matters; it's a subjective visual experience and every artist has their own style.

For me it's situational. Sometimes you photograph something mundane and process it into something extraordinary and beautiful. Sometimes it's already beautiful and you want to capture it exactly how it really is. Different scenarios require different methods of capture.

0 upvotes
LeanderL
By LeanderL (Nov 22, 2011)

Sorry but I think the above image looks really unnatural and overprocessed.
To me this is a clear case of overdoing the HDR-trick!

1 upvote
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Nov 22, 2011)

They should call this FDR. But that's not going to make a difference now. HDR already has its bad name, even with a few actually natural processes out there.

0 upvotes
rurikw
By rurikw (Nov 25, 2011)

I think that's a beautiful high key picture of an abandoned factory hall, warehouse or whatever. Soft light, warm shades...

0 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Nov 27, 2011)

Agreed...it is an example of those who misinterpret HDR to mean mean there should be no dark shadows in a normal scene, resulting in a lack of contrast in the image. I know HDR attempts to represent the wider DR of the human eye, but if we were standing there, it probably wouldn't look like that bright and low-contrast.

0 upvotes
Kuppenbender
By Kuppenbender (Nov 22, 2011)

We 'have' used HDR since.....

0 upvotes
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Nov 22, 2011)

Really, it's futile. The first sentence should read "we have been using HDR since 2004, and wrote this book in order to share our personal experiences", full stop, because they've used HDR twice in one sentence. It goes without saying that they're talking about HDR images the second time.

The last sentence should be "more information can be found (link)here(link), including the full table of contents". I'm sure the rest of the book is copiously illustrated, and it's the knowledge that matters, not the grammar. But still.

0 upvotes
Peter iNova
By Peter iNova (Nov 24, 2011)

The author, Uwe Steinmueller, speaks better English than you speak German, his native language. But still.

1 upvote
NigelMoore
By NigelMoore (Nov 29, 2011)

While I don't that is true, it's no excuse for the publisher not to have used a copy editor for what is a commercial work.

0 upvotes
Halhoyle
By Halhoyle (Nov 22, 2011)

....

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Nov 22, 2011)

It was actually episode three- the one where they fell into the black hole. That was the reason why the moonbase found itself all the way across the galaxy (although it didn't explain how the moon could travel from planet to planet so quickly).

1 upvote
Blackubuntu
By Blackubuntu (Nov 22, 2011)

Sorry folks, but I really enjoy "HDR" photography and gather all the info possible on the subject.
So if you don't like it, don't look at it. There's a bunch of photography styles that i don't like, i look for something that i do like.....

4 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Nov 27, 2011)

HDR is interersting. You can enhance photos or make totally different renderings. And ... I think the problem many have is that they expect ordinary photos but see strange renderings. Its the old conflict between natural photos and art photos (or whatever you call it).

So - if I get myself an HDR software and make some cool stuff and shows it for my friends, I shall not expect them to find it interesting. Its like everything artsy - you have to acquire some skills before its liked - and not all will like it nevertheless.

0 upvotes
BobDavid
By BobDavid (Nov 22, 2011)

Am I the only photographer on the planet that does not "get" blatant HDR? The best HDR photos are the ones where you can't tell HDR processing was part of the workflow.

6 upvotes
ClickJohnClick
By ClickJohnClick (Nov 22, 2011)

No you're not the only one who fails to see the point of the bland, pastel renderings of HDR software. I can only hope this book helps photographers to achieve a "human's eye view" of high contrast scenes.

1 upvote
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Nov 22, 2011)

You can hope, but it's quite unlikely. Anyone that does 'get' the difference wouldn't even use the HDR acronym, but something more like 'Multi-Exposure Photography - The Natural Processing Guide.' At least that's what i'd do :).

1 upvote
sagebrushfire
By sagebrushfire (Dec 4, 2011)

Well it's subjective, as is any visual experience. Sometimes you might just so happen to need that "HDR" look because that's what a client wants or it makes your image pop in a certain way. It's like shooting in B&W or Sepia, doesn't work for everything but it has it's place. I suppose people have been having these same arguments and issues with painting, music and literature for hundreds of years before photography came about. Generally the new guy gets bullied until something else pops up and threatens everyone's comfort zone. Years from now we'll be saying "I remember when REAL photographers used HDR, not this 3D Photo baloney!" or whatever photo phenomenon is out by then.

0 upvotes
Jakubo
By Jakubo (Nov 21, 2011)

half life 2?

5 upvotes
fmian
By fmian (Nov 21, 2011)

Needs more barrels.

3 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Nov 27, 2011)

Yepp. Thats a very correct comment. Many computer games render HDR.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 35