Interesting title, eh? Well, this picture is ‘the reason’ that I enjoy shooting images with a High Dynamic Range. This is not to blast people that don’t enjoy HDR or think it isn’t a pure form of photography, it is just a version of photography that I find very useful and enjoy and I shall explain why. When I was setting up my shot in this barn, what initially caught my eye was the open door leading to the field of growing wheat. However, I knew I wouldn’t be happy with just a framed shot of the field. I hit my live view button, as I often do while composing my shots, and adjusted the scene to my liking. I usually take a single exposure to make sure I am happy with the comp before I burn 12 exposures on framing that I don’t like. Well, on this single exposure, the first thing I noticed was that the barn was as black as night and the exposure for the field was spot on. I knew this set up would have a very High Dynamic Range (HDR) between the shadows and shade inside the barn versus the sun-lit wheat field. I wasn’t going to be happy with a silhouetted barn framing a field, nor a slightly blown out field to expose the wood detail inside the barn.
Enter HDR photography. This shot was a combination of 7 different exposures from -3 to +3 on the ev scale. I went through my normal steps of Photomatix Pro, PhotoTools 2.6 and then Photoshop (at some point I hope to make a tutorial of my workflow). And this is what came out the other end. I really, really enjoy creating pictures that recreate exactly what I was seeing standing in that barn. When I was looking out on the field, I didn’t see a dark, black barn with no detail. I could see all the cracks, knots and decay in the wood. The same applies to the background while looking around inside the barn, the sky and green were bold and pure. And that is the main reason, I like to explore and practice in the world of High Dynamic Range Photography.