Instructables
Picture of Easy HDR Photography
The very minute I learned what HDR photography was, I was hooked. I instantly delved into the internet to figure out how to do it. After an extensive search and some experimentation I discovered the simplest way of creating these fascinating and surreal images. In this instructable I will be showing you a fast and easy method for creating HDR images.
 
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Step 1: HDR vs. non HDR

Picture of HDR vs. non HDR
Firstly, before you go taking a bunch of pictures or downloading software, do a google image search for HDR photography. This will not only show you what HDR looks like but will also give you some inspiration for your own images.


Also, here is a quick video that shows some photos before and after HDR processing.

Step 2: Getting Started

Now that you have a sense of what can be done with HDR, you are ready to begin. To complete the following steps you will need these things:


1. A Camera

 The camera must have some form of manual brightness control.

2. Tripod (optional)

A tripod is not necessary but i highly recommend it.

3. Software

Here are several options.

Photomatix Essentials (recommended for beginners)
Ease of use: 5
Control: 2
Cost: $39 (free trial)

Photomatix Pro
Ease of use: 3
Control: 4
Cost: $99 (free trial)

Luminance HDR
Ease of use: 1
Control: 5
Cost: Free

I recommend starting with Photomatix essentials because it is really easy to use and it has a free trial. Photomatix Pro gives you more control at the cost of ease of use and Luminance HDR is very hard to use because none of the controls make any sense unless you know the names of the algorithms and what they do.

For this intractable I will be explaining the process using Photomatix Essentials but a similar process would be used for the other two as well.

Photomatix download page
http://www.hdrsoft.com/download.html

Luminance HDR
http://qtpfsgui.sourceforge.net/
wsround7 months ago
I am starting to experiment with HDR. I am using gimp to process the pictures and they seem to do pretty well. I do see the need for a tripod.