A World in HDR 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
- a breathtaking collection of HDR photographs
- engaging explanations of how the author achieved the image
- expert tips for achieving stunning results (and avoiding common mistakes)
- a foolproof HDR tutorial and software recommendations
About the Author
- Publisher : New Riders Pub; 1st edition (December 9, 2009)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 210 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0321679946
- ISBN-13 : 978-0321679949
- Item Weight : 1.52 pounds
- Dimensions : 8.75 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,783,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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Trey is excellent at taking a collection of photos with different exposures and merge them into one HDR image. He achieves an arty fantasy look in the images which is very impressive. In my eyes, this is where his great talent is.
What I don't like are the photos themselves. If it had not been for the look created by the HDR process, most of his images would be boring, and nothing more than snapshots. I believe that the same amount of thought about composition should be applied to an HDR image as to a normal one. This is where Trey looses one star.
The other star is lost in his descriptions about the pictures. He gets overly arty and philosophical, and uses words you'll need a dictionary to understand. These paragraphs gave me nothing, and I believe the book would have been better without.
At the end, there is a good tutorial about how to go about making your own HDR images, but this is also available at Trey's blog.
As a summary, this books contains a large collection of images showing what most photographers can achieve if they practice their computer skills, and this inspiration is the best reason to buy the book.
By looking at his images and reading his comments you can tell that HDR is just a means to an end. It is a tool to celebrate life and our world. It is his means to connect with creation and to share beauty.
His tutorials and techniques are easy to understand and follow. They are not lost in technical jargon, but practical. Not a formula book, but one intended to help us understand the HDR process and motivate us to experiment.
A combination of Fine Art Book and practical how to, "A World in HDR" is a must have for every HDR enthusiast, from beginner to advanced!
The author, Trey Ratcliff, is also the force behind a very popular HDR oriented blog, stuckincustoms. Anyone interested in (or addicted to) this technique would enjoy following it. In addition, there are several free tutorials on that site.
The opening page has the title, "What is HDR". It contains two images. One is a single, properly exposed image that most photographers would probably delete and the other is an HDR version that is spectacular. A quote from that page sums it all up, "HDR is an evolving art that enables the photographer to capture and display the full range of light that can be realized by the human eye." The rest of the first chapter includes some stunning photographs and some explanation of what HDR does. Here's a simplified summary: a human eye can see details in shadows and at the same time see details in bright areas. A camera can't. However, that same camera can be told to take three images, but to pay attention to the bright spots in one image, the mid ranges in another and the shadows in the third. After that, software can merge these images (taking the best details from each) and create a picture that resembles what the eye can see.
The book is broken into sections and chapters that take readers through introductory materials and then into more advanced concepts. The last third is devoted to tutorials with more text and fewer finished images.
Most of the pages in the first two thirds of the book have a great image on the right and a description on the left. The description always adds some detail about what was done to make it better. Not a full blown tutorial, but a clear insight instead. For example, a page with a picture that has a lot of grass in the foreground has a comment that tells us that bright sun reflects off of grass and often gives it a garish look, especially after tonemapping. Trey's advice is to go into Photoshop and adjust the Hue/Saturation slider to remove some yellow. (As a mid-level PS user, I would have instinctively worked on the green.) As sections progress, more and more details are uncovered. Much of what Trey has to say is about how the eye and brain process images. He tells of visual experiments where the experimenter projects two colors on a screen and asks the audience to pick the white one, then projects a third image that makes it clear that the first two were merely different shades of grey. Trey then uses this to explain how the mind processes pictures and how to use that information to make images more pleasing to the viewer.
The last part is where this book stands apart from the others on this topic. Trey gives us several tutorials covering the usual how to use the software, and then moving on to more advanced techniques such as creating an HDR from a single image or double processing an HDR image. He shows us how to make the impossible happen, such as a multiple shot HDR that includes moving objects like a Times Square ticker or a bus.
One more thing, though it is not directly related to the book. Trey started a site called "hdrspotting". On it you'll find great examples of HDR images from a variety of photographers. Participation is by invitation, so you're only seeing the best work from the best in the field. I recommend bookmarking it and visiting regularly.
This book comes with my highest recommendations. If I could give more that 5 stars, I would. It is printed on quality paper and is a pleasure to look through whether you are a photographer or not.
NOTE: I am an Amazon Vine reviewer, but this is not a Vine book.
Top reviews from other countries
All in all a book that is worth reading and some of the pictures, once you've realigned your preconceptions, are amazing too.
Allerdings sind die Beschreibungen oft nicht so ausführlich wie gewünscht, Großteil auf der Homepage lesbar - aber ist so (zumindest für mich) schöner zu lesen...