Keeping It Real With HDR

Text And Photography By Glenn Randall
The key to creating an HDR image that brings the photograph closer to the reality that our eyes perceived is to maintain appropriate contrast and saturation. In the images on these pages, Glenn Randall created 32-bit files with Photoshop CS6 or Photomatix 4.2. He tonemapped in Lightroom 4. Above: Mount Sneffels in late September from County Road 7, San Juan Mountains, Colorado.
One of the most frequent questions I’m asked by students in my landscape photography workshops is, “How do I make my HDR photographs look more realistic?” To answer that question, we first need a clear understanding of the problem. Our eyes can see a range of light intensities, from brightest highlight to darkest shadow, of something like 10,000 to one. A print can only display a range of light intensities of about 50 to one. In that sense, it’s impossible for a print to ever look completely “real.” But it’s possible to get close

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