A venture over to the dark side

Picture: Early evening light over Mount Diablo from Briones Regional Park, Contra Costa County, California

Two great tests today. The first is this test of the hosted embed widget from my PhotoShelter Archive. (It works.)

The second, and much more significant venture, is more akin to that Anakin Skywalker’s trek over to the Dark Side. This is my very first HDR processed image I’ve posted in public.

I never had a problem with people working to increase the dynamic range of an image. However, I’ve stayed away from the automated HDR processes, preferring to have more manual control. I shot this image a number of years ago, specifically with enough brackets to produce an HDR file. So, today the stars aligned, and an unseen force pushed me to hit the until now rarely touched “Merge to HDR” button.

I’ve seen a lot of bad HDR, and I’ve seen some very good HDR. For myself, when I use the term HDR, I specifically refer to an automated computer process, vs. more manual methods like blends & multi-processed files. And by BAD HDR, I mean some really garish, hyper-haloed, day glo-colored, and mostly unnatural looking shots. I certainly don’t have anything against photographers who process images like that, but it’s just not my visual cup o’ tea. My hope is to keep a more natural look and feel akin to the visual palette that I grew up with (photographically speaking), mostly in look and feel like my old velvia slides.

So will I continue to use HDR. I dunno… we’ll see. (Heard: faint voice of the Dark Side calling.)

And as as footnote to that last ‘look & feel’ comment, I always like to point people to my portfolio and see how easy it is for them to guess which are slide-based, and which are digital-based images.

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6 Comments on “A venture over to the dark side”

  1. Guy Says:

    According to the Merriam Webster dictionary:

    Main Entry: enlightened
    Function: adjective
    Date: 1652

    1 : freed from ignorance and misinformation
    2 : based on full comprehension of the problems involved

    You didn’t cross over *to* the dark side, Gary, you crossed over *from* it.


  2. Mark Says:

    dark side (plural dark sides)
    (literally) The light-deprived, hence not or badly visible portion of an object (or creature), either temporarily or permanently.

    Aside from the moral shift that Guy eluded to… it really does seem that HDR is adding more light, and so Guy is probably correct on the literal side as well. 🙂

  3. Patrick Smith Says:

    It looks natural, like a single image. And I like that. Okay, time to watch the national Parks part III….


  4. Aaron B. Hockley Says:

    Just an FYI… the photo/widget do not display at all in the RSS feed. I clicked through to the site this time to check it out, but it’s something to consider if that’s a problem for you.

  5. Peter T. Says:

    I had the same problem as Aaron. The photo/widget did not display at all in my RSS feed. On your site, it looks fine, but no image via RSS.

  6. Richard Wong Says:

    Nice job at the HDR, Gary but it still is the dark side. 🙂

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