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My experience with HDR photography

Published July 2nd, 2011

Why HDR?

I love the natural beauty... but today's ordinary cameras (like mine) "see" less than the human eye.

The camera sees the dynamic range of approximately 5 exposures, and the human eye sees 9-10 exposure.

I want to show the viewer what I really saw, not what my camera managed to capture, so that is why I use HDR.

Types of HDR photos

1. True HDR made from multiple differently exposed photos

2. Pseudo HDR made from one photo

Important tips

For true HDR it's very important to use a tripod when taking a photo, and to use a remote trigger.

For pseudo-HDR (HDR made from one photo) it's important not to have any part of the photo over-exposed (because the over-exposed parts are permanently lost).

Always shoot in RAW format, especially for pseudo HDR

For scenes with a lot of movement use pseudo HDR

In the processing always use TIFF format because there is no loss of quality.


For HDR I use Photomatix.

For a true HDR I use 3 differently exposed photos (2, 0 -2)

Sometimes I make two additinal copies of each exposure and in the RAW editor adjust the exposures so I have 4,3,2,1,0, -1, -2, -3, -4

For pseudo HDR I make 8 additinal copies of photo and tune exposures (4,3,2,1,0, -1, -2, -3, -4)

Every photo I additionally processed in PS (shadows / highlights, contrast, noise reduction, sharpening).

To HDR photo looks more realistic, I am using a technique invented by myself, which is similar to the Orton effect. In a new layer paste photo overexposed 3 times, choose the blending mode "Multiply", and put the opacity to about 75%

HDR photo has a lot of noise, so it is important quality noise reduction.

I hope you find these tips useful, greetings! :-)

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Wil Munny  over 5 years ago


Pete Nicholls  about 6 years ago

Thanks Boris. I tried an early version of Photomatix, think I will have to try it again.

Zuriel Castillo  about 6 years ago

great tips boris! i'll definitely take these into account

Hisham Basheer  about 6 years ago

I didn't notice this before!
Thanks for the tips :D

Darren Hester  about 6 years ago

Thanks for posting Boris. This in very helpful.