HDR in Landscape Photography – How to Get Started

So what is a landscape? Does everyone know? Namely, it is a genre of fine art, the subject of which is the pristine or to some extent transformed by man’s nature. We live in a world where there are not many places left unchanged by man – megacities, global industrialization has transformed it. It’s very different from what it was just a hundred years ago. And it has its own special beauty. A beauty that can be captured, and admired. Well, of course, thanks to modern technology are to show the viewer your vision, and you do not have to be an artist. It’s enough just to know a few rules, and of course, have a camera. Let’s talk about such a direction as the industrial landscape.

In order to make good pictures, you will definitely need HDR software. We recommend Luminar Neo. This handy application will appeal to beginners and professionals alike.

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What is an industrial landscape?

This direction of landscape photography appeared back in the thirties. It highlights the transformation of the world under the influence of human activity. The birthplace of the industrial landscape was England this was explained by the fact that she was the first country that had advanced industrial production. This trend extols the beauty of human achievements: the power of his technical thought, the symbiosis of man-made and natural. 

Sometimes, looking at the monumental buildings that surround us, unwittingly you begin to believe that nothing is impossible for man. But at the same time, they are full of their own inner philosophy – from the incredible intricate patterns of transport junctions to the tragic views of clouds of poisonous gas from the pipes of factories. This type of landscape is varied and diverse, and in order to emphasize it I use an image manipulation technique called High Dynamic Range. Today we’re going to explain in our review how to best apply HDR to landscape photography. 


What is an HDR photo and how it differs from a usual photo

It’s time to find out what HDR is. It stands for High Dynamic Range. Many of us have noticed that when we take a picture with something – whether it is a cell phone or an advanced SLR on a bright sunny day, then the resulting picture of the sky turns into a solid spot of light, while the rest of the image is fine. Or vice versa – the sky is expressive and detailed, but the ground is drowned in blackness. Why does this happen? After all, we see the overall picture in its entirety without overlights and dips in shadows. The thing is that our eyesight is an amazingly powerful tool with an enormous dynamic range. 

Dynamic range is the difference between the brightest and darkest parts of an image. It is measured in so-called stops or steps. For example, if an object is twice as bright as the one next to it, then it is exactly one step brighter, or one stop. Our vision has a dynamic range of about 24 steps, while sensors of popular digital cameras have a range of 9-10 stops. The difference is obvious. 

So how do you get a shot that doesn’t have over highlights and gaps in shadows, like this one? This is what HDR technology is for. It allows you to combine several images with different exposures into one image, thereby achieving this result. Exposure is the amount of light that reaches the sensor. For example, this picture was underexposed, so it was underexposed, but you can still see the details of the sky. You can also add the effect of HDR software.

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HDR photo equipment

It’s time to decide on a camera. Of course, it’s best to have a DSLR. 

  • The digital viewfinder is a miniature LCD display built into the eyepiece of the viewfinder. Unlike the optical viewfinder, there are no mismatches, and you can display all key shooting parameters on the electronic viewfinder screen. The disadvantages are the additional power consumption. 
  • The mirror viewfinder. The image in it falls directly through the lens of the camera with a hinged mirror – the main plus – the image in the viewfinder is identical to the image on the matrix, allows you to control the accuracy of focusing, and depth of field, and does not require additional power. Disadvantages – the complexity of construction, and, accordingly, the cost. And for post-editing, you need good HDR photography software


The best time to take pictures

It is rightly considered that noon is not the best time to take pictures of landscapes. If the sun shines brightly, the shadows are very contrasty, colors lose halftones and become muddy, and because of the harsh bright colors, the picture as a whole is flat and unexpressive. This is especially true for nature photographers. 

You can take pictures at any time of the day. But on one condition – the sky must not be empty. Clouds are one of the most important “characters” in my photographs. Better yet, a stormy sky with flashes of sunshine. Such pictures are full of drama, especially when combined with some man-made masterpiece. And so HDR always highlights the sky, making it look heavy and expressive. The route is chosen, batteries loaded, tripod with you, umbrella too. You’ll need your camera too. You can edit the photos you have taken with the help of the best HDR software. Good luck!


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