HDR Photographs from Monument Valley Trip

This post has some High Dynamic Range photographs from our Monument Valley trip in July of 2012. When we went to Monument Valley I took some exposure bracketed photos (i.e. multiple exposures of the same scene). I picked the ones that I liked for the web post, and put the rest in the ‘Delete’ folder. Since then I’ve learned a little about HDR, so I thought I’d try it with those photos. This post has some of the resulting pictures. For those who aren’t aware, HDR uses several photos of the same scene, all with different exposures (e.g. three photos with one under exposed, one with the correct exposure, and one over exposed). The photos are all combined together using HDR processing to produce one photo with higher dynamic range than the original. For example, if there’s a scene with clouds in the background, the underexposed picture may show the shadows and subtleties of the clouds well, but the subject is under exposed, while the normal exposure would show the subject but the clouds would look ‘washed out’ (over exposed). With HDR you can see both.

I didn’t take the pictures with HDR in mind (I hadn’t heard of it at that time), so I wouldn’t use these as a reference for what HDR can do (there are plenty of websites that do that). However, I think the HDR pictures are better. They are scenes where the sky gets washed out without the HDR. For some of the pictures you can compare with the non-HDR pictures from the post in July if you want to see the difference.

HDR processing uses what is called ‘tone mapping’ (mapping one set of colors onto another), which enables a wide range of special effects. For most of the photos in this post I tried to make them look natural. There’s one that looks a little like a painting, but I liked the look. You can probably pick it out easily.

The moon picture isn’t HDR. It was in my ‘Delete’ folder. I played around with post processing and it came out much better than when I ‘deleted’ it. I took it the night we stayed at the Hat Rock Inn.

Here are the pictures:

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