Thanks to everybody who shared their views on the HDR issue last Friday (link). When it comes to HDR, it seems like most folks are on one side or the other, with very little middle ground—-you either like it or you really, really hate it.
One comment posted by a reader named Cory really stuck out to me. It’s short and sweet, but says volumes.
The biggest trigger point for most commenters seemed to be the amount or style of HDR tonemapping applied to a photo, and they seemed to feel that the over-processing was strictly to hide bad photographic technique.
So, if a photographer creates an HDR photo, and even if they over-process it, does that somehow instantly mean that they’re now a bad photographer?
Not everybody that uses over-the-top HDR effects uses them as a crutch. They may just like they way it looks—plain and simple, and the photo they tone mapped may have been a strong photo without the processing, but they just like it better with the effect. Is that wrong?
Somebody I talked with this weekend about Friday’s post posed a really fascinating question, totally on the other side of the gamut from what I just wrote:
“If a photographer took a photo, and they looked at it on their camera’s LCD and thought it wasn’t a very good photo. But then they were able to add an effect to it in Photoshop (or whatever) that turned it into what a lot of people then thought was a good photo, is that a bad thing? At the end of the day, they created a photo that people like. What’s the harm in that?”
I mean, we all take a bad photo or two now and then, but the fact that the photographer knew a process that turned that boring photo into an interesting photo, is that all that bad?
Apparently, for a lot of people, it is.