35 Expressive Examples of Stunning HDR Photography

By / Dec 24, 2009 / Inspiration

HDR photography has become one of the most popular and beautiful forms of displaying images. HDR or “high-dynamic-range photography”, lets you capture different aspects of a photograph and use software to merge them all-together. While scaling through the web, we were able to find a handful of stunning HDR photographs for your inspiration. Let us know if we’ve missed any of the real good ones, and which ones catch your eye.

Clicking on the images will take you to where we found them, and will allow you to see a larger version and learn more about the photographers.

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  • Ken

    I’m sorry, but these are far from stunning. More like uncanny valley.

  • http://idsandclasses.com Dusan

    Some of them are amazing, some of them are just overdone

  • Rob Leslie

    They are all Overdone.
    they look more like good air brush work than realistic photos.
    HDR can be very good. These are not.
    IMO the 35 best examples of how not to do HDR.

    • http://www.axispolitic.wordpress.com S. Edward Wilson

      I completely agree – more like airbrush than photography – even more like paintings…not photography – way overdone.

  • http://www.templatecustomization.org Template Customization

    Good photos. I like that things, very quality photos. Thanks!

  • http://www.kaplang.com/blog Michelle

    hummm not so sure about some of these but nice post and thanks for sharing

  • http://www.crispclean.be crispclean

    HDR is like eating chocolate. When you eat one bar, it tastes good. Two bars are even better! The third bar is all right. The fourth bar is painful to swallow. The fifth bar makes you puke.

  • http://andrewwilkinson.co.nz/ Andy Wilkinson

    I’m sorry, but with the exception of the two Dave Hill photographs and the dude in the hood, these are unimpressive at best and an assault on the senses at worst.

    The key to good HDR is moderation. It can be amazing when it’s used to bring out detail that would have otherwise been blown out.
    I’m sure there are those out there who love this style and can’t get enough of it, but I wish people would stop dragging HDR’s name through the mud with examples like this: http://greycamera.deviantart.com/art/New-York-hdr-01-76781634

  • http://www.str8photography.com Mark

    Many photographers think HDR photography is a party trick but this is defiantly not true. High Dynamic Range Photography is a major part of the future of photography. HDR photography is a new technology so many photographers are skeptical or unfamiliar with it. Check out my site for more HDR!

  • Nick

    Because they contain movement most of these images simply can NOT be HDR.

    HDR is achieved by taking multiple photos of the exact same scene at different f-stops so that some frames will be under-exposed and some over-exposed. These frames are then layered and blended to make a single image so they must match exactly! If there is even small amounts of movement between frames such as a tree branch blown by the wind, or cloud movement, the layers will not match and HDR will not work. The traffic and human movement in most of the pictures on this page would ruin HDR.

    Regardless of the technical impossibility, lets be realistic, the motorbike scene or the hoods exiting a car look great but are just too far fetched to be real photos.

    To properly understand this technique look up HDR on a serious photography site like luminous-landscape. http://www.luminous-landscape.com

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/scavengercat/ Justin

      Sorry to argue but they simply CAN.

      If you open a RAW file and adjust the exposure slider you can approximate the multiple exposures shot in camera and export each as a separate file. Then you can pull these into Photomatix or whatever and process an HDR shot. The dynamic range created by using this technique will not be the same as bracketed shots, but the results are so close that it’s a very effective technique for HDR action shots.

      • Jay

        Justin,
        A true HDR shot entails combining the full Dynamic Range of the image. This means pulling detail from the range of Black with detail all the way to white with detail. By using 1 normally exposed RAW image you cannot achieve the same results. If you could get perfect detail across the ENTIRE range from one exposure then HDR would not be a useful tool.

  • neLLn

    ^Agrees with Andy Wilkinson and Nick. When I saw the photos I thought I clicked the wrong link.

  • http://writersense.blogspot.com story_weaver

    I love 3, 4, 9, & 16.

  • http://www.vunkyblog.net Vunky

    I love the photos. Maybe it is time to think up a new term rather than HDR. People are freaking out when photos are over-processed and marked as HDR.

    I think that the photos above are an art-form in its self and show craftsmanship and time dedicated to photo processing.

    Thumbs up to the creators

  • http://www.mayureshpatil.com/pixelpost MP

    HDR is famous because of how much attention it has got. Obviously, there are more people in this world who love HDR than the ones who hate it. I personally love good HDR photos and the person whose work I like the most is Dave Nightingale of Chromasia. Also to the guy who chose HDR photos for this post, please do not talented photographers like Dave Hill. Dave Hill mentioned in an interview that none of his photographs are HDR.

  • http://www.stetestilz.com StetEStilz

    Great collection. I feel like a lot of these are more of an example of tone mapping, and tone compression.
    But a lot of good work anyways.

  • Ben gribbin
    • http://henryjones.us Henry

      Yes, we’ve had to figure this out the hard way. Needless to say, he is no longer writing for us.

  • http://www.smithkennedy.co.uk Witney Accountants

    Simply Awesome!

  • http://applejuicechronicles.com simon

    those pictures are no HDR-photos anymore, they┬┤re more like excessive photoshop-paintings based on photos.

    and some of them even cause eye-cancer.

  • http://www.fotokees.de Kees van Surksum

    I totally agree with most of the postings above. A lot of these images are definitely NO HDR-images (like the very good images by Dave Hill, to which the rest of the images are like an insult!)

    These overly done tone-mapping maybe a matter of taste, but judged objectively, most of them are NO good examples of good HDR photography. Apart from that: HDR is in my opnion highly overestimated and most of the time this technique offers no added value whatsoever. Most high end SLRs can produce RAW files with 8-11 LV dynamic range and don’t need HDR for 80% of lighting situations. Thus, the tone mapping examples above are simply an example of bad taste in post production.

  • Sheila

    So, at what point do we stop calling DIGITAL ART photography? Some are indeed and technically, photographs. Others, there is no way they can still be considered a photograph.

    What a waste of 3 minutes…..