This is a guest post from fellow photographer Eivind Dovik.
This used to be a problem for me, but then I started looking through my photos and I realized: Hey, these are just HDRs.
HDR is not a good photo. When you’re out there shooting, either hand-held or with your tripod, that’s when you take a good photo. Each and everyone of us need to take good photos in order to create amazing HDRs. A badly composed photo cannot be saved simply by pulling it into Photomatix. When you’re shooting, look for cool things, angles, lines, colors – all of this has to be taken care of before you take them into Photomatix.
I started thinking about this a little while ago, and since then I haven’t just shot brackets just to get different exposures that I could merge to HDR. I used to do this before – I ran off, set up basically wherever I could and fired away, merged, processed and was happy. The photos didn’t look good – they just looked like HDRs.
HDR is the icing on the cake. When you have your brackets that are shot in good light, they’re well composed and they feel right – that’s when you use HDR-techniques to make them look absolutely fantastic. HDR is a tool to make a good photograph look awesome. It’s not a tool for making a crummy photo look like a crummy HDR – because that’s what you’re gonna get.
Put your eyes out there – start looking for subjects that would actually look pretty good even without HDR. Use HDR to enhance your good shots. It’s my best tip.
Photo by Eivind Dovik. View more photos on Eivind’s website. Eivind can also be found on Twitter @ eivinddovik
Thanks for reading and happy shooting