I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. Were it not for what I learned from my friend and mentor, Harold Davis, my Astronomy Photographer of the Year, 2010 win would not have happened.
It is really just not possible to capture the wide range of exposure latitudes without post processing. Moreover processing with traditional tools does not result in as pleasing a result. It took application of the Hand HDR blending technique I learned at one of Harold’s workshops (and from his book) to make the image possible. I hope you’ve also noticed that the image above bears none of the hallmarks of “typical HDR” imagery.
Harold is teaching an HDR workshop on March 24, 2012 in Berkeley, California. For details please see “Photography with Harold Davis” Harold has a book on the subject scheduled to publish in July, 2012. You can pre-order it now for a quite modest price. The Hand HDR techique is also covered along with several other powerful tips in his book The Photoshop Darkroom: Creative Digital Post Processing.
Here is the same subject using automated HDR processing:
And another example that “screams” HDR with its “gritty” texture and surreal look.
But you do NOT have to make images like that. You can if you wish. Harold will show you both!
If you’d like to see all of my images of and around the marvelous location, take a look here.