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Practical HDRI: High Dynamic Range Imaging for Photographers Paperback – September 19, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1933952321 ISBN-10: 1933952326 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Rocky Nook; 1 edition (September 19, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933952326
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933952321
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.6 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,239,849 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jack Howard picked up his first SLR camera as a teenager and has spent the twenty years since exploring all aspects of photography. From the wet darkroom to cutting-edge digital imaging techniques, he's thoroughly embraced the evolution of the photographic process.

Currently, Jack is the Director of New & Social Media for Adorama Camera where his blogs and podcasts discuss all matters photographic. He was previously the Editor of PopPhoto.com, the online home of Popular Photography and American Photo magazines.

Jack holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Rutgers University, and acquired his photographic skills through practice, trial and error, and from many peers and colleagues along the way. While he has mostly retired from photojournalism, his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Asbury Park Press, The Star-Ledger, and many other newspapers.

Jack lives in New Jersey with his wife Corey, and their new baby Avery Rose; their German Shepherd dog, Bailey; a betta fish; and more camera gear and gadgets than you can imagine!


More About the Author

Jack Howard first picked up an SLR camera as a teenager close to twenty five years ago and has been exploring the photographic process ever since. Starting in the wet darkroom and now exploring cutting-edge digital imaging techniques, he's thoroughly embraced the evolution of the photographic process.

Jack is Sigma Corporation of America's New Media Specialist, where he blogs, builds community, and shares his passion for photography with loyal and future Sigma customers every day.

Jack's book, Practical HDRI, 2nd Edition, High Dynamic Range Imaging Using Photoshop CS5 and Other Tools is now available through many bookstores and online book sites.


He was previously the Editor of PopPhoto.com, the online home of "Popular Photography" and "American Photo" magazines. He also was Director of New and Social Media for Adorama Camera where he blogged, podcasted and screencasted about all matters photographic.

Jack spent several years focusing on photojournalism, whose work has appeared in "The New York Times", "The Asbury Park Press", and "The Star-Ledger" and many other newspapers. His photos and articles have appeared in Photo District News, Popular Photography, American Photo, Photoshop Creative, Techlicious, and many other publications. He has been an expert guest on radio shows and podcasts including Martha Stewart's Living Today radio show, Nikonians Newsflash podcast, Inside Digital Photo, Backcountry Utah Radio among others.

Jack holds a Bachelor of the Arts Degree in History, with Minors in English and American Studies from Rutgers University. His photographic skills are self-taught, although having a photographer for a father, and two brothers who are also mad for cameras has helped a lot along the way.

Check out some of Jack's experimental video work and other fun stuff on his Vimeo page.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Darwin's Bulldog VINE VOICE on September 23, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's hard to give this book a good rating although parts are very instructive. The book begins at a very elementary way; what exposure is, what the focal length of lenses mean. There are much better books for such basic stuff; and this one if far from comprehensive.

The following information on how to use the HDR software, encompasses little more than 'move the sliders around and watch what they do.' There is a bit of instruction on what various buttons are for, and where to find more sliders on the unintuitive HDR software interfaces.

The book then makes a huge jump into advanced techniques that assume a high level working knowledge of Photoshop. For someone who is really starting in HDR photography at the same level that this book starts, the section that describes deghosting one image using 14 sets of 7 bracketed exposures using Smart Object stacks in Photoshop CS3 Extended will be totally, completely beyond their capabilities!

The production values of the book are excellent as are all the Rock Nook books; full color throughout, good binding lots of screen shots of good size (Something a lot of Photoshop books don't get right). There does not seem to be any way to get copies of any of the images in the book, so no chance of following along. (Several other of the Rocky Nook books do provide links for test images.)

The advanced techniques provide a lot of good tips for experienced Photoshop uses and photographers. The 14x7 deghosting strategy mentioned above is excellent. I hope he does another version at a much higher level.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By P. LeFevre on September 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
Whether you're an experienced photographer (I'm a professional commercial photographer) or a beginner, this is a great introduction to HDRI. While the book does, of necessity, have some basics for beginning photographers, there's more than enough "meat" for those already well-versed in photo technology but new to high-dynamic range imaging. I found the tutorials clear and helpful, and the examples inspiring. Howard obviously knows his subject, having been one of the few that was pushing HDRI before it was "mainstream," and being someone who experimented with all kinds of uses for HDRI.
If you've never done HDRI, and you want a good guide to getting started and pushing the technology, this is the book for you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 24, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading (and using) Ferrell McCollough's excellent "Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Digital Photography" I was more than ready to dive deeper into HDR photography. I recently returned from Japan with about 500 HRD images to process, so I purchased the book at hand looking for guidance. This book is useful mind you, but it does not generate the excitement I found the the McCollough's work. The many controls of several popular HDR programs are described, and that will help, but I felt the information was a little mundane and somewhat patronizing. The price is expensive compared to the McCollough work ($16 vs $22). Another text (by Christian Bloch) has received high ratings on Amazon. Guess I'll try that one next . . .

UPDATE: After a few months, I've gone back to using this book more. It's more useful than I first thought! In "fact" it's been quite helpful giving me a working overview of Dynamic HDR software functions. I'd upgrade my rating to 4 stars if I knew how. The price isn't so expensive either, considering the amount of information provided.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Fulton on September 23, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having the term "practical" in the title, I had hoped that this book would focus on a more practical application of HDR and steer away from all the prosumer-y stuff that flickr seems stuffed with. I know the author tried to do this, but I'll say this is certainly not a book for any professional or advanced amateur... If I'd seen the chapter entitled "popular breeds of lenses for HDRI" it would have been a good tip off for who this books is aimed at... My fault, but just a heads up that this is pretty entry level and basically a survey without any great detail... If you've just decided you want to start HDR and want to get the basic lay of the land, this is your book...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Jacobson on October 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
Both film and digital chips lack the dynamic range of the human eye. High dynamic range photography attempts to recreate the dynamic range we appreciate with the naked eye using multiple images shot over a range of exposures and then combining them in a way that shows more detail in the dark and the light end of the combined image than a single recorded image would be able to show.

This technique involves taking bracketed exposures of scenes that of themselves have significant dynamic range. If you've shot an image of a scene that is consistently bright, or consistently dark, there is unlikely to be very much dynamic range to expand using the techniques of HDRI. The images are combined using software tools. The images shown in books explaining HDRI are not actually HDRI images; ink printing techniques, and the paper used to present the image both also have limited dynamic range. So we aren't actually increasing the total dynamic range of the images, we're making the very bright and very dark areas more detailed and comprehensible. This results in more information appearing in the image, and may contribute to a more interesting image.

HDRI imaging is used primarily in landscape/still life photography, it is more difficult and less effective when the subjects are in motion, although certain tricks may allow acceptable shots when there is some motion in the subject.

This book by Jack Howard is an excellent introduction to the field. While not as complete as some other books may be (there are only 170 pages, and many of the pages are taken up with images), it gives an introduction to the field that allows one to understand what is going on, and decide if it's an area they'd like to pursue.
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