Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Times Square De-saturated HDR

Times Square

I am not a fan of heavy handed HDR and have posted my views several times in the past.  So here I am, producing a couple of photographs that run completely contrary to my previous rants.  I’m ok with that, and I have a reason.

Like all “rules” or guidelines for photography, including composition, it is good to have a foundation on which to base your photography.  When you step outside these self-imposed bounds, it is good to do so intentionally.  In other words, it is ok to break the rules, and it is best to do so with purpose and intention.

The two HDR photographs of Times Square featured in this post were shot in August 2011.  Just yesterday I finally got around to processing them.  As I was running the photographs through Photomatix Pro, the practically empty Times Square coupled with the clouds and the street shining from the drizzle, led me to choose a heavier application of tone mapping than I normally prefer.  I quickly became attracted to a grungier look for the scene which seemed consistent with the conditions.

To add further to the gloomy feel I was trying to achieve, I de-saturated the photographs aggressively and added grain.

Times Square-1-3

As a final word, I remain opposed to heavy handed HDR.  On the other hand, I can imagine particular scenes, such as these from a sparsely populated gloomy Times Square, when use of the technique and produce interesting results.  HDR is a great tool when used judiciously and appropriately.

Have fun, and go make some great photography.


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