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Creating HDR Photos: The Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Photography Paperback – July 24, 2012
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Disclaimers: I did not buy this book, I was given a copy by the publisher to review. I have bought a number of books by Harold Davis in the past and have liked them. I have a several other books on HDR and have attended a number of seminars on HDR. I mostly use HDRsoft's Photomatix Pro for my HDR photos. I have been lucky enough to attend several events run by Harold Davis and I have signed up for more.
The subtitle claims that this book is: "The Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Photography" and it is certainly covers more different methods to obtain high dynamic range photos than any other book I have seen. No one book can cover everything in a field, but this book covers it better than any of the others I am aware of.
If you consider HDR as a method to avoid over and under-exposing different parts of the image, or to collapse the actual dynamic range of the image to something that can be printed or electronically viewed, then this book covers HDR from 1855(!!), through the Ansel Adams Zone System, dodging and burning prints, and into the modern digital images with RAW, TIFF and JPEG workflows. The main tools are covered with detailed screen shoots. Lesser methods are mentioned. Important is the discussion of which tool might be best under which circumstances. Also covered are problems and solutions before the shoot, during the shoot, and after. Extensions beyond simple HDR include HDR panoramas, multi-HDR processing, what to do with moving objects, etc. Harold also shows that HDR can do much more than create "grunge" photos. Non-grunge HDR examples in the book include flowers, glamour, and more.Read more ›
In fact, when I lead a photo tour these days - one of the first things that I'm asked is if there is a good book on HDR that I would recommend. Until recently, I didn't have one that I felt hit the mark. Now I do.
Because Mr. Davis does so many things "right" in this expertly written text. He explains how HDR works without a lot of technical mumbo jumbo. He talks about all the various ways images can be blended. He gives examples of before and after photos using the various HDR techniques. In fact, his chapter on getting the entire dynamic range and his twelve steps for shooting a full dynamic range are worth the price of the book alone. Too often photographers return home from a trip and are distressed that their images don't have the pop that they saw with their naked eyes. By using the advice in this fine book, they won't have that problem in the future.
He also has embedded several case studies. My favorite is a case study on page 106 that explains a step by step process for utilizing Lightroom to craft a piece of photography that becomes photo art. Each step fully explained and shown visually, and there's no better way to "see" what magic can occur when HDR is done in a similar fashion.
I was also pleased to see that he discusses things like the use of filters within an HDR workflow.
My guess is that this book will become a go to resource for photographers worldwide. If you are interested in exploring how HDR can expand your photographer's toolkit, then this is the book for you.
Mr. Davis takes us through the myriad of automated workflow software available today such as PhotoMatix, NIK HDR Efex Pro and Photoshop HDR Pro. He also guides us through the selection process as to which methods produce the intended results as well.
Helpful screen shots and entertaining stories of why and how the striking images were made abound.
The case studies: "Jesse" and "Forest Sonata" are particularly useful. These illustrate Multi-RAW processing using ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) and/or Lightroom then finishing in Photoshop. This workflow permits processing three tonal versions of the same image (light-mid-dark) to achieve a HDR image. Photographers will find this extremely valuable since they can either shoot with this workflow in mind or research their RAW files and locate single captures that would benefit from an extension of tonal range. This process facilitates producing a better version of your intended vision. These tutorials alone are worth the price of the book.
I have been a fan of Harold Davis art for many years. His compelling flower and landscape images immediately come to mind, however he is clearly accomplished in all facets of photography as so beautifully revealed here. Equaling his art, is his ability to convey to others, the achievement of those sometimes tedious processes which he successfully communicates in an engaging manner. Whether you are a neophyte or experienced HDR shooter, there is something of value in "Creating HDR Photos" for you. This is a definite 'must have' for your photographic library.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First, note that this is not a book for beginners but rather for intermediate level photographers; it assumes you have a working knowledge of (a) your camera controls as well as... Read morePublished 3 months ago by John
Well written and easy to understand. Very informative.
Explains well the process for creating HDR images.
This book is great for understanding how to create HDR photos. Explains the different software used and helped me decide which software to purchase.Published 10 months ago by Janet Loesch
This book does a great job of presenting all of the HDR techniques you need to understand. It also provides a great how to section for each of the most popular HDR software.Published 16 months ago by Kevin Velik
Well written book that leads you through the approach to taking wonderful HDR photographs.
Would recommend book to anyone with Intermediate and Advanced photography... Read more
The second half of the book is devoted to post-processing HDR images in software including Photoshop. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Amazon Customer