HDR Tip 3 – Leave some Mystery

Trey’s Note: this is part of a week-long HDR Tip session with Rick Sammon.  If you want to find out more, feel free to see the free HDR Tutorial or the more in-depth HDR Tutorial on Video.

Today, I will talk a bit about leaving some mystery in your shot.

HDR processing can already give an impressionist-feel to your photo. Sometimes it’s more effective to show the impression of a cloud rather than to show an actual cloud.

Now, this doesn’t work for anyone. You’ll find photographers out there that want absolute detail and precision with zero noise in every pixel of the photo. But I don’t listen to them… It’s more important to me to provide the feeling of something rather than the actual something.

Also, I like to leave things in my photos that are mysterious and “could be” mistakes. Often times, these are interesting enough to make people wonder and become somewhat attached to the photo. You don’t want the bit to be so strange that it is distracting and off-putting… but just a bit mysterious perhaps. In the photo below, I left in the dirt-zamboni because it was kinda strange and different. Upon closer inspection, you can see that there was recently a bullfight and that thing was smearing the blood across the sand.

High Dynamic Range Photo

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  • Frank

    Hi Trey,

    I had previously noticed the ‘thing’ in the ring but couldn’t quite make out what it was. Now I know why it was there and it makes sense both from a practical and an artistic viewpoint. Excellent shooting tip!

  • http://www.rumataphoto.com RumataMx

    I’m glad to agree with you, perfection is impossible.

  • Ben

    And I thought it was just an ambulance doing donuts while no one was around. haa

  • http://www.aputure.com/blog Aputure

    Incredible picture, love the hues and the feeling I get from this photo. It’s being in high places, taking in vistas like this, that makes me feel really good about life!

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