U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: R.I.P. HDR

Re: R.I.P. HDR

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  • Subject: Re: R.I.P. HDR
  • From: Trevor Cunningham <trevor@chalkjockeys.com>
  • Date: Sat, 19 Sep 2009 22:54:05 +0300
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I do find one point here a little irksome, and maybe it was touched upon in other responses. Adams, before he even grabbed a plate, saw (or visualized) his image in his head, and worked to produce that image. The zone system, as I understand it (in my very limited experience), was a means of maximizing the possible range of tonality in a given sample of film. However, it is not without limitations, and I'm sure he dodged and burned like the dickens to get some of those impossible shots. I came across a download of a collection of his images that seemed to be gathered from either his notes or his trash can...it was interesting to see his trial and error.

I'm of the point of view that the reason we see so many of these fantastical (they remind me of fantasy/sci-fi/airbrush art) digital images is because some people think they look cool...like oil on velvet in the 70s. These stretches of HDR use, beyond simply balancing a range between extremes, are no different than the illusions spun by the masters, in purpose. The fact that some people dislike them is irrelevant. However, that people can speak loud enough about the process to cause a dither among practicing artists is curious, indeed.

BOB KISS wrote:


            I read it and agree.  I was “dissed” in the past for posting a statement that all HDR really did was compensate for the limited dynamic range of the digital image capture process.  It was a corrective solution to a problem that doesn’t exist for the b&w photographer who has made a few tests and has a basic knowledge of the zone system.  Further, color neg has a dynamic range nearly as good as some b&w films and, though it is difficult to push/pull process without risking crossed curves, scanning the color neg can either:

1)    Capture the large density range created in a color neg shot of a high scene brightness scene or…

2)    Fix the crossed curves in a color neg that has been pushed or pulled. 

Sooooooooooooo, as I said, HDR image processing is a crutch for digital capture’s limited dynamic

range.  Of course, as western art is all about “impact”, the article makes a good point that everyone jumped on the “saturation” band wagon and created scenes either reminiscent of Agfa Velvia or perceptions resulting from the 70s use of psychedelic drugs. 

            What ever happened to subtlety?  I tremble to even mention shibui.  ;-))




From: eric nelson [mailto:emanphoto@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, September 18, 2009 2:49 AM
To: Alt Photo
Subject: R.I.P. HDR


Finally someone has put onto a page what I've been thinking all along!



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