HDR Troubleshooting: Lack of Imagination

Imagination is a powerful thing when preparing HDR images, a fact that is made more obvious when you see the result of not using it versus using it. The top image in this figure is an HDR image of a local diner during the “golden hour” — that late time of day (or morning) when the sun is low, and objects are more sun-lit from the side and bottom.

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The problem is that the lens used here had horrific distortion characteristics. Nothing looks right in this image. The photographer tried and tried to do something interesting with this photo, and had come up short each time. The windows, though, always caught his attention. So, he decided to focus on them.

Rather than leave anything else in the image, it was cropped and transformed so that the windows took center stage. The right window was moved to the left a bit to cover the sign and cloned to blend it in. The end result (see the bottom of the figure) is something really powerful. It’s colorful, interesting, completely unexpected — it’s imagination.

When your images show imagination, people will be far more interested in looking at your work — it will be worth their time and effort to seek you out.

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