HDR? Or not HDR?

I was talking about HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography the other day. That was here. But with so many innovations and new ideas around post-processing photos these days, even the definition of the term – and ability to know one when you see one – keeps changing! I find it fascinating, because of how it challenges our perceptions. Originally, an HDR photo was one created from a few to several auto-bracketed images, in graduating levels of brightness. Thus, covering the gamut from darkest to lightest tones. By that definition, this is a 7-exposure HDR photo (and was an awesome little house we saw in New Zealand. Can you say “hobbit?” heehee):


This is also a multi-framed (5 exposure) HDR photograph:


Are These HDR?

So, is this photo an HDR? A combo of two long exposures… one exposed for the sky, the other for the water and rocks, then blended together in Photoshop.

How about this one, HDR? How many exposures would you guess on this photo?


I should make a guessing game out of that last one… but guessing games kinda bug me, so I’ll bypass that.
The second of these last two… the close up of water streaming down over the rock… is a single frame. It was shot at f/22, .4 secs exposure, at ISO 50, right around sunset. In processing, I mostly just went for a bit more Clarity, sharpness and a touch of vibrance and… voila! Most people think it’s HDR. But it’s not. Or is it? By today’s definitions, I’m not even sure anymore! I just know that when folks see this photo and say either, “Nice HDR!” OR the ever-popular “Stop with the HDR already!”… they’re as confused as I am these days. They’re both wrong, since it’s not HDR by original definition. But heck, definitions change all the time – and after awhile it just doesn’t matter, IMHO. All we really have to rely upon is what we like and what makes us feel good, badda-bam, the end.

The End. 😀