Hi Gang: Between my original post on HDR, and the follow-up post on Tuesday, I had over 304 comments from readers, but two really stood out to me.
The first is from my follow-up post, and is in response to a number of people who wrote that they felt that over-the-top HDR images were no longer actually photographs, but had been so radically transformed that they were now illustrations, art, or a painting—-but certainly no longer a photograph.
I thought this reader made a brilliant analogy (the best I’ve heard on the topic), and I wanted to share it with you in case you missed it. For brevity, I’m going to paraphrase a little, but here’s what he said:
“Turning a Tree into a Chair…
The Tree is there. Someone comes along with his/her tools: Axe, knife, etc.. He whittles a chair out of it. Now the chair is there.
Now once it’s a chair you have the option to leave it like that or you can carve details into it, paint it, and/or add upholstery. It’s still a chair whether you improve upon it or not… It just then becomes a specialized type of chair like Victorian, modern, or such.
That’s what HDR does. It adds details, paint, and upholstery to the Photograph. It’s still a photograph, but now enhanced. If you like the regular old whittled chair then don’t HDR it… But if you think your [chair would look better to you] in HDR then do it…”
This one, from my original post, is in reference to my applying the HDR effect to my photo of the Star Ferry in Hong Kong. It stood out to me as well:
“I’d like to point out that, I believe, something quite similar could well have been accomplished in a single frame with some selective underexposure and filtered small flash fill.”
— John Fowler