Finally – A Natural Looking HDR

More or Less….

Click any image to enlarge it

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens Sunrise

Technical – Nikon D300, Tokina 16-50mm @ 21mm, f/2.8, ISO 200, Aperture Priority, 5-exposure HDR (-2 to +2 EV), Tripod

  • Boring; grounds were under construction leaving almost no interesting possibilities other than to just show what was there – a documentary shot. I would have liked to get closer (to minimize the foreground – which I cropped out in post) but there was another photographer. He was there first & etiquette says that you don’t step into someone else’s shot – especially if they’re there first and already set up. I asked him to let me know when I appeared in his viewfinder and then walked closer along my preferred line of sight until he gave the word. Photographers – BE COURTEOUS!


  1. Photomatix Pro 4 Detail Enhancer tone-mapping default
  2. Capture NX2 for color and contrast adjustments and to crop off the bottom (uncropped is shown in the right image below).

If you’ve read my other HDR posts you know that I’m not a fan – entirely because of the unnatural looking images that result much of the time (due to software deficiencies, user’s tastes, or both). The image above comes close to natural.
Below are three alternative visions of this scene. Click to enlarge.

  • Left – High Key, straight from the camera. This was one of  the 5-exposure set shot done horizontally. You do try to shoot everything in both orientations, don’t you? As soon as I saw it after downloading, I immediately forgot about the other four & about HDR – this was the keeper as described in yesterday’s post.
  • Center – today’s feature image
  • Right – What many people do with HDR. This is an example of HDR that turns me off. ;-)!

Regular readers know that besides not being a fan of HDR, I preach the sermon of originality.  That’s why, when I saw the high key accident at the left above, it immediately became my 1st choice for this scene – even though today’s (boring composition, record shot) was closer to what I had in mind originally. You never know….

0 thoughts on “Finally – A Natural Looking HDR”

  1. Nice image capturing the serenity of the eastern philosophies plus fortuitous clouds as a leading line.

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