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August 23, 2014 / arthill

HDR for non-fanatics

When I first started seeing HDR photos a few years back I disliked them.  It seemed that most HDR aficionados were guilty of either

1. Posting ALL pictures as HDR even when a regular version would have been wonderful


2. Overdoing HDR so that every picture had that garish, over processed look

When I first tried HDR myself I wasn’t happy with the results so I just didn’t go any further with it.  Then I started seeing a few HDR pictures on smugmug and flickr that looked great – not over processed.  In fact, you couldn’t tell it was HDR.  I then read a bunch or posts about HDR at and learned that HDR can be a valuable tool if you don’t overdo it and overuse it.  So I’ve done some HDR myself over the years and had pretty good luck with it.  I use PhotoMatrix Pro.

Here are some examples of stuff I have done.


I don’t use it very much.  The trick has been to think about it so that I can take 3 shots to use to create the HDR.  I just don’t remember very often or don’t notice that the scene I’m shooting might lend itself to HDR.

So I was pretty happy to learn that in the latest version of PhotoMatrix Pro they added a feature that will do an HDR image from ONE RAW image.  I’m sure it’s not as good as using three images but it seems pretty good to me.  I gave it this image as a RAW file


and produced this

from the ferris wheel IMG_3769


Leave a Comment
  1. Donna McCommon / Aug 23 2014 2:35 pm

    Art, I’m like you and have only tried HDR a limited amount. Your examples are stunning and make me want to take the time to give it a more serious try.

  2. benrowef64 / Aug 24 2014 12:54 pm

    One click HDR images are boring and over used but a lot of people like them i think because of the contrast. HDR though is a tool which needs to be used carefully and skillfully.

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