HDR may not be for everyone, or for every image. It has had a lot of bad press in the past few years due to many who seem not to understand how, when and why HDR is used. HDR used incorrectly can produce some terrible photography. However, in my opinion, when it is used well, the images it can produce are pretty amazing.
For me, HDR has opened the door to producing images that would be impossible to create by any other means. I am now addicted to the night! In particular, I am drawn to the beauty of the mixed colors of artificial illumination caused by neon, sodium vapor, fluorescent, tungsten and other forms of glowing electric light. In color, I am fascinated by the way ordinary places and simple things are transformed when lit by man made radiance. Touched by the play of colors and reflections emanating from streetlights, electric signs, car lights, TVs, windows, the objects of night become mysteriously interesting. The night comes alive with the random brightness and the extraordinary colors of fabricated lighting. Those same colors add to the dynamic range and contrasts of black and white imaging as well,
I am usually equipped with a sturdy tripod, a couple of lenses, my DSLR, an LED flashlight or two and plenty of enthusiasm. I love roaming roadways, streets, alleys and parks for my nighttime subjects. The experience has the potential to be exciting and to a large degree, it is. While there is excitement in finding something beautiful to shoot, the night is a great time for quiet and solitude.
When planning these outings, I always try to use some common sense when selecting a location so as to avoid confrontations, the possibility of being mugged and other dangers. I would suggest you do the same. Normally, I choose my locations depending on whether I am alone or not. For safety, I always like to have a companion, another photographer or one of my dogs along for the trek. Expensive camera equipment can make you a potential target for muggers and thieves. It pays to be cautious and alert.
As often as possible, I will be heading out to find that amazing image quietly lurking around that next darkened corner.
Read about other great photographic techniques in my book Rethinking Digital Photography.
Please have a look at some of my other posts here.
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